8 Different Types of Renewable Sources of Energy

Different Types of Renewable Sources of Energy

There are different types of renewable sources of energy that we will focus on in this article.

Renewable energy means sustainable energy that is exhaustible or inexhaustible, like the sun. When you hear the term alternative energy, it also usually refers to renewable energy.

Renewable energy is a natural energy that regenerates faster than it is used. Renewable energy sources are abundant and all around us. This leads us to the different types of renewable sources of energy.

On the other hand, non-renewable resources like coal, oil, and gas require hundreds of millions of years to create.

Burning fossil fuels releases harmful greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere.

The production of renewable energy produces much fewer emissions than the burning of fossil fuels.

Switching from fossil fuels, which currently account for the majority of emissions, to renewable energy sources is key to overcoming the climate crisis.

Renewable energy is cheaper in most countries and creates more jobs than fossil fuels. Furthermore, renewable energy sources, often known as clean energy, are regenerated naturally through processes or sources.

For instance, despite fluctuations in availability due to time and weather, sunlight and wind continue to shine and blow, respectively. Windmills process grain as wind-powered ships sail the seas.

But over the past 500 years, people have increasingly turned to cheaper and more polluting energy sources such as coal and fractional gas.  

1. Solar Energy

One of the different types of renewable sources of energy is Solar Energy. The most plentiful energy source is solar energy, which is also usable on cloudy days.

The Earth absorbs solar energy at a rate roughly 10,000 times greater than the rate at which people use energy.

Solar technology can provide heat, cooling, natural light, electricity, and fuel for many applications. Solar technology turns sunlight into electricity using photovoltaic panels or mirrors focusing on the sun’s radiation.

Each country can contribute significantly to the energy balance of direct solar. Solar energy has become widely available and frequently the least expensive source of electricity because of a sharp decline in the cost of solar panel production over the past ten years.

Solar panels have a lifespan of about 30 years and come in different shades depending on the material used for manufacturing.  

 Furthermore, Sunlightsunlight is one of the most accessible energy sources on the planet, and as you can imagine, it will become the number one renewable energy source.

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Depending on our location, the season, and the time of day, the amount of sunlight we receive might vary significantly.

Solar energy generates electricity by capturing Sunlightsunlight in solar panels through a combined chemical and physical reaction known as the “photovoltaic effect” (or photoelectric effect).  

2. Bioenergy

As a fuel, burning organic material can generate power. These biomass fuels include everything from plants and wood to food waste. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is released during the process of creating Bioenergy.

These fuel sources are classified as renewable since they may be replanted. Also, they can absorb as much carbon as they emit throughout their life cycle.  

In addition, Bioenergy is produced from a variety of organic resources known as biomass, including wood, charcoal, fertilizers, and other fertilizers to produce heat and power, natural crops—liquid biological material—and fertilizers.

Less fortunate people in developing nations frequently utilize a significant amount of biomass in rural regions for space heating, lighting, and cooking.

Modern biomass systems include specific crops or plants, agricultural and forestry waste, and various organic waste streams.  

The energy produced by burning biomass causes greenhouse gas emissions, but to a lesser extent than when burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, or gas.

However, given the possible adverse environmental effects associated with large-scale bioenergy forest extension, afforestation, and the ensuing deforestation and land use change, Bioenergy should only be used for limited purposes.

3. Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy uses heat energy available from within the Earth. Heat is extracted from geothermal reservoirs by boreholes or other means.

Hydrothermal reservoirs are defined as reservoirs that are naturally porous and sufficiently heated. Advanced geothermal systems are reservoirs that are hot enough but have been enhanced by hydraulic stimulation.  

On the surface, liquids of different temperatures can generate electricity. As a result of its long history—more than a century—of use, the hydrothermal pool energy generation method is reliable and well-proven.

By harnessing natural heat below the Earth’s surface, geothermal energy can heat homes directly or generate electricity.

While geothermal uses energy right under our feet, it’s less important in the UK than in countries like Iceland, where geothermal heat is much more readily available.  

4. Wind Energy

Using massive wind turbines situated on land, at sea, or in freshwater, wind energy captures the kinetic energy of flowing air (offshore). The utilization of wind energy dates back thousands of years.

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Still, in the last few years, onshore and offshore wind technologies have evolved to maximize the amount of electricity generated – with taller turbines and larger diameter propellers.

Although average wind speeds vary greatly by location, the technical potential of wind energy in the world exceeds global electricity production, and there is sufficient potential for significant wind energy use in most areas—regions of the world.  

Winds blow at high speeds in many parts of the world, but sometimes the best places to generate wind power are in the periphery. Offshore wind energy has great potential.  

We have benefited from the wind as an energy source for centuries, from sailing ships to windmills and beyond.

However, the wind became a significant renewable energy source in the 20th century. Initially, small wind turbines generated electricity in remote and rural areas.

As demand increased, so did the popularity of wind power, and a long period of research and development led to increased efficiency. Engineers have recently improved rotor speed, spacing, and electrical power.

Result? Wind farms are already a familiar sight in the landscape. Experts consider wind energy one of the cleanest renewable energy sources out of the many available.

First, winds are usually constant throughout the year because the wind blows reliably and steadily. Therefore, it meets the high demand for energy consumption.

However, wind farms can get a bad reputation for being ugly. In part because of this, there is a tendency to develop offshore wind energy, where the wind is usually stronger. We can produce electricity without polluting the landscape. 

5. Tidal Power

Tidal Power is also one of the different types of renewable sources of energy. For the same reasons as wind power, tidal energy has great potential for the future.

Tides are reliable and predictable in all renewable sources of energy. Tidal energy also has a long history. For example, the dams contained tidal water as early as 900 AD.

And the backup water wheel powered by water was born. Until 2011, it was also the largest in the world. Rance has a capacity of 240 MW.

However, tidal power plants can be expensive. The dependence on tides and the speed of ocean currents complicates the task. 

Despite these potential limitations, improvements to the design have resulted in increased tidal power availability1.  

6. Ocean Energy

Ocean energy comes from technologies that harness seawater’s kinetic and thermal energy – such as waves or currents – to produce electricity or heat.  

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Many prototype devices utilizing tidal waves and ocean currents are still in the research stage, as ocean energy systems are still in their infancy. The theoretical energy potential of the ocean easily surpasses the current human energy.  

The moon’s gravity will always affect the ocean, making it an enticing alternative to harness its power, even though tidal and wave power is being developed.

Some tidal energy approaches, such as tidal barriers, act like dams in bays or ocean lagoons, which can harm wildlife.

Like tidal energy, wave energy relies on dam-like structures or devices anchored to the ocean floor at or just below the water’s surface.  

7. Hydroelectric Power

Hydroelectricity works similarly to wind power in that it rotates the turbine blades of a generator to generate electricity.

Many nations use hydroelectricity, which rotates turbine blades with swiftly moving water from a river or waterfall.

Although wind power is quickly closing the gap, it is now the largest renewable energy source in the country. 

Dams are a source of renewable energy, but they are not necessarily green. Many larger “super dams” divert natural water sources, negatively impacting animal and human populations due to limited access to water.

However, properly managed smaller hydroelectric plants (under 40 megawatts) do not cause catastrophic impacts on the local environment by only partially redirecting the water flow.  

8. Photovoltaics (PV)

Last on our list of the different types of renewable sources of energy is Photovoltaics. This converts light into electricity using a semiconductor material that exhibits the photoelectric effect.

A phenomenon studied in physics, photochemistry, and electrochemistry. Commercial applications of the photoelectric effect include power generation and image sensors.

A photovoltaic system uses solar modules, each consisting of several solar cells that generate electricity. You can mount a stand or use a solar tracker to track the sun in the sky.  

Photovoltaic technologies help mitigate climate change because they emit much less carbon dioxide than fossil fuels.

Solar panels as a power source have several advantages: 

  • Once installed, they are pollutant and greenhouse-gas-free. 
  • They are scalable in terms of energy needs. 
  • Silicon is widely available. 

In the Earth’s crust, PV systems are created utilizing different materials, Such as silver, which could impede further development of the technology.

These are the different types of renewable sources of energy. We hope you found this article useful.

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