Renewable Energy & Types of Renewable Energy

Renewable energy comes from sources or processes that are constantly replenished. These sources of energy include solar energy, wind energy. Renewable energy, often referred to as clean energy, comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly replenished.

Renewable Energy: The Clean Facts

Wind and solar are powering a clean energy revolution. Here’s what you need to know about renewables and how you can help make an impact at home.

Renewable energy is energy produced from sources like the sun and wind that are naturally replenished and do not run out. Renewable energy can be used for electricity generation, space and water heating and cooling, and transportation.

Non-renewable energy

Non-renewable energy, in contrast, comes from finite sources that could get used up, such as fossil fuels like coal and oil.

Renewable Energy & Types of Renewable Energy

Benefits of Renewable Energy

The advantages of renewable energy are numerous and affect the economy, environment, national security, and human health. Here are some of the benefits of using renewable energy in the United States:

  • Enhanced reliability, security, and resilience of the nation’s power grid
  • Job creation throughout renewable energy industries
  • Reduced carbon emissions and air pollution from energy production
  • Increased U.S. energy independence
  • Increased affordability, as many types of renewable energy are cost-competitive with traditional energy sources
  • Expanded clean energy access for non-grid-connected or remote, coastal, or islanded communities.

Renewable Energy in the United States

Renewable energy generates about 20% of all U.S. electricity, and that percentage continues to grow. The following graphic breaks down the shares of total electricity production in 2021 among the types of renewable power:

Renewable Energy Share of Total U.S. Electricity Production. 9.2% wind, 6.3% hydropower, 2.8% solar, 1.3% biomass, 0.4% geothermal.

Also Read> Solar Photovoltaic Energy

Solar Energy

Humans have been harnessing solar energy for thousands of years—to grow crops, stay warm, and dry foods. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, “more energy from the sun falls on the earth in one hour than is used by everyone in the world in one year.” Today, we use the sun’s rays in many ways—to heat homes and businesses, to warm water, and to power devices.

Wind energy

We’ve come a long way from old-fashioned windmills. Today, turbines as tall as skyscrapers—with turbines nearly as wide in diameter—stand at attention around the world. Wind energy turns a turbine’s blades, which feeds an electric generator and produces electricity.

Wind, which accounts for 9.2 percent of U.S. electricity generation, has become one of the cheapest energy sources in the country. Top wind power states include California, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, though turbines can be placed anywhere with high wind speeds—such as hilltops and open plains—or even offshore in open water.

Hydroelectric power

Hydropower is the largest renewable energy source for electricity in the United States, though wind energy is soon expected to take over the lead. Hydropower relies on water—typically fast-moving water in a large river or rapidly descending water from a high point—and converts the force of that water into electricity by spinning a generator’s turbine blades

Biomass energy

Biomass is organic material that comes from plants and animals, and includes crops, waste wood, and trees. When biomass is burned, the chemical energy is released as heat and can generate electricity with a steam turbine.

Geothermal energy

f you’ve ever relaxed in a hot spring, you’ve used geothermal energy. The earth’s core is about as hot as the sun’s surface, due to the slow decay of radioactive particles in rocks at the center of the planet.

Ocean

Tidal and wave energy are still in the developmental phase, but the ocean will always be ruled by the moon’s gravity, which makes harnessing its power an attractive option. Some tidal energy approaches may harm wildlife, such as tidal barrages, which work much like dams and are located in an ocean bay or lagoon. Like tidal power, wave power relies on dam-like structures or ocean floor–anchored devices on or just below the water’s surface.

Geothermal heat pumps

Geothermal technology is a new take on a recognizable process—the coils at the back of your fridge are a mini heat pump, removing heat from the interior to keep foods fresh and cool. In a home, geothermal or geoexchange pumps use the constant temperature of the earth (a few feet below the surface) to cool homes in summer and warm houses in winter—and even to heat water.

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By Trinh

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