Renewable energy resources are those, which never run out and can be replenished any time, as and when they are required. These energy sources are basically good substitutes for non-renewable energy sources like coal, petroleum, and wood
Types of renewable energy
The various types and sources of renewable energy are as follows:
- Solar Energy
- Solar Hot Water
- Photovoltaic Systems
- Passive Daylighting &Solar Heating
- Solar Electricity
- Space Heating and Cooling
- Geothermal Energy
- Geothermal Direct-Use
- Geothermal Electric Production
- Geothermal Heat Pump
- Wind Energy
- Ocean Energy
- Green Power
- Hydrogen Fuel Cells
Why are renewable sources of energy named so?
Aside from tidal and geothermal energies, all other sources can be constantly replenished by the sunlight.
Do you want to know how?
Actually, uneven heating of the surface of the Earth by the sun causes wind energy. The water cycle is even fuel by sunlight. Hydropower, like hydroelectric dams and some other invasive systems, is used to harness water from streams, rivers, and oceans. Sunlight also helps in the growing of biofuels.
Geothermal energy is produced by the radioactive decay in the core of the Earth, which isn’t going to cool down anytime soon.
Tidal energy is produced by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun, that causes tides on the oceans. Hence, these two energies have no relation to solar energy. They are purely generated by gravity.
All these energy resources are easily available, and they are inexhaustible; hence, the name “renewable energy sources.”
On the other hand, coal, petroleum and natural gas resources are finite. A limited and unknown amount of these resources is buried deep under the ground or the ocean.
Why should renewable energy sources be preferred over non-renewable energy sources?
This energy is readily available, abundant and quite reliable. Currently, harvesting these energy sources is rather costly; however, it is set to become cheaper once the infrastructure and the technology improves. It is important to note that these energy resources are harvested without the use of fossil fuels. Renewable sources are also great resources to combat climatic change as they emit very little or no carbon.
Non-renewable resources, on the other hand, are costly to extract. And the drilling and mining of these elements are very dangerous to the environment as well. These sources also emit harmful gases like CO2 to the environment leading to air pollution. Finally, they are finite; Ergo, there is no knowing how long they will last.
Harvesting and finding new sources of non-renewable energy is also very difficult. The limited availability, as well as the cost of mining these resources, will ultimately force prices to keep on hiking due to their limited availability. Consequently, this will ultimately result in a great disturbance to the global economy. Not only that, the chances of catastrophic accidents are also there especially when drilling for oil under the ocean bed (for example). The British Petroleum Oil Spill in 2010 is a good example of such a catastrophe.
Renewable energy sources are also much cleaner to use when compared to the use of fossil fuels. The use of non-renewable energy sources not only causes air pollution but also leads to water pollution from toxic waste like mercury, lead, and arsenic. A typical example of this is the exploration for (and mining of) oil, ending up in the refinement of.
Consequently, it is vital that steps are taken to make people aware of (and how to use) the various renewable sources.
Finally, this will also affect the global economy in a positive sense.