What are the different type of Renewable Energy?

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What are the different type of Renewable Energy?

Renewable Energy seems to be on everyone’s lips these days, a hot topic. But what is renewable energy and why is it so important? There are many different types of renewable energy and each of them share a common characteristic, they produce or capture energy from ongoing natural processes such as sunshine, wind, flowing water, biological processes, and geothermal heat flows. Most of renewable forms of energy, other than geothermal and tidal power, ultimately come from the Sun.

What are the different types of renewable energy?

  1. Biomass Energy—Biomass energy is produced from non-fossilized plant materials.
  2. Wood—Wood biomass includes wood pellets; wood chips from forestry operations; residues from lumber, pulp / paper, and furniture mills;
  3. Bio fuels—Bio fuels include ethanol and bio diesel. Much of the fuel ethanol used in the Philippines is produced from corn and sugar cane. Bio diesel is made from grain oils and animal fats.
  4. Solid waste and bio gas—solid waste , or garbage, contains biomass (or bionic) materials such as paper, cardboard, food scraps, grass clippings, leaves, wood, leather products, and non-biomass combustible materials (mainly plastics and other synthetic materials made from petroleum). Solid waste is burned in waste-to-energy plants to generate electricity.
  5. Hydro power—Hydro power is electricity produced from flowing water. This can either be  large scale involving hydroelectric dams or smaller scale involving “run of river” turbines.:

Renewable Energy

Wave and Tidal Energy

Wave and tidal energy harvesting has been around for a few decades. But it has only been in recent years that it has started to become more realistic due to advance in research and technology. Some speculates that wave and tidal energy can supply at least 10 percent of the world’s energy consumption. How much power can be harvested is determined mainly on the wave activity. A map of wave heights is shown towards the end of the document.

Geothermal energy—Geothermal energy is heat from the hot interior of the earth or near the earth’s surface. Fissures in the earth’s crust allow water, heated by geothermal energy, to rise naturally to the surface at hot springs and geysers. Wells drilled into the earth allow a controlled release of steam or water to the surface to power steam turbines to generate electricity. The near constant temperature of the earth near the earth’s surface is used in geothermal heat pumps for heating and cooling buildings.

Wind energy—Wind turbines use blades to collect the wind’s kinetic energy. Wind flows over the blades creating lift, which causes the blades to turn. The blades are connected to a drive shaft that turns an electric generator, which produces electricity.

Solar energy—Solar energy systems use radiation from the sun to produce heat and electricity.

There are three basic categories of solar energy systems:

  • Solar thermal systems use solar collectors to absorb solar radiation to heat water or air for space heating and water heating. These are popular for residential hot water systems.
  • Solar thermal power plants use concentrating solar collectors to focus the sun’s rays to heat a fluid to a high temperature. This fluid generates steam to power a turbine and a generator.
  • Photovoltaic (PV) systems use solar electric cells that convert solar radiation directly into electricity. Individual PV cells are arranged into modules (panels) of varying electricity-producing capacities. PV systems range from single PV cells for powering calculators to large power plants with hundreds of modules to generate large amounts of electricity.

Why is renewable energy important?

Perhaps the most important feature of renewable energy is that the generation of renewable energy by using plants, animals and humans does not permanently deplete the resource.

Fossil fuels, while theoretically renewable on a very long time-scale, are exploited at rates that may deplete these resources in the near future.

As global population grows and as societies become more affluent so the demand for energy continues to grow. Traditional methods of energy generation using fossil fuels is already under pressure to keep up with demand and is at the same time facing depletion of the fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) that it relies upon. This is leading to ever increasingly destructive extraction techniques and rising costs. Eventually all fossil fuels will either be gone or so expensive to obtain that they will either no longer exist or will no longer be economically viable.

Added to this are the other, less easily quantifiable costs of fossil fuel generation; pollution, population health, loss of productive work hours through pollution caused illness, costs of pollution related health care and so forth.

Most noteworthy, that renewable energy is the way of the future and is already becoming economically viable and in many countries a cheaper way of serving communities energy needs.

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