Renewable Energy Examples
You've probably heard of wind power, biomass energy, and hydropower, but how do you know which of these renewable energy sources can benefit you the most? Here are some examples. And if you want to know more, check out these related articles.
We'll talk about each in detail so that you can see how each one can benefit you. And remember, these are just a few of the many examples of renewable energy.
If you're looking for an example of renewable energy, consider hydropower. It's clean energy, and a significant portion of the electricity in Washington will come from this source by 2020.
However, hydropower does have some environmental impacts. Here are some facts about hydropower. These facts may surprise you. Hydropower is one of the most cost-effective sources of energy.
If used properly, hydropower can provide a large amount of electricity without causing any significant environmental harm.
It's difficult to ignore the fact that hydro reservoirs produce greenhouse gases (GHGs). These gases are released by decomposing organic matter.
Hydropower plants emit CO2 and CH4 as a byproduct of this process. Earlier studies estimated that hydro plants in Brazil emitted up to three times more GHG than coal-fired plants. Extrapolating these data led to estimates that hydro accounted for approximately 4% of global GHG emissions.
Moreover, hydropower development in developing countries seems to ignore climate change scenarios. The Hoover Dam, for example, has begun installing new turbines at lower elevations to prepare for future water shortages on the Colorado River.
In fact, it has reduced its peak power output from two gigawatts (GW) to one-and-a-half GW. Several dams in the Southeast U.S. have been improved, but the relicensing process requires improvements to river flows, fish migration, and dissolved oxygen levels in discharged water.
The total amount of wind power that can be economically extracted is far greater than the total power demand of all human beings on Earth. Moreover, the average wind speed does not necessarily indicate the amount of energy that a wind turbine could produce.
Moreover, wind power's price is more stable than that of fossil fuels. This makes it a good choice for both residential and commercial purposes. Therefore, wind power has the potential to meet the energy needs of most people.
The main feature of wind turbines is that they do not emit any greenhouse gases. Wind turbines use a three-bladed rotor to convert kinetic energy into electrical energy.
To operate at a high capacity, a wind farm needs to be located in windy regions. A wind farm requires a large area of land and the wind is usually strong. This land is also used for farming, grazing, and other uses.
In the U.S. alone, there are nearly 70,000 wind turbines producing clean electricity. That's equivalent to about 42 million American homes.
Renewable energy is also a major economic development driver. In the last decade, wind energy projects have generated over $151 billion in investment and are expected to add another $20 billion to the economy by 2021.
It prevents 321 million tons of CO2 emissions per year – roughly the same amount as 70 million vehicles.
As a form of renewable energy, biomass is a viable alternative to fossil fuels. Most forests will not be clear-cut for biomass production. The regrowth of plants offsets the carbon emitted by burning these fuels.
However, environmental activists worry that the increasing demand for biomass will increase global pressures on the environment and social systems.
This is due to biomass' low surface power density, which means that a larger land area is needed to produce the same amount of energy as biomass.
However, a biomass power plant may require a large investment. The initial cost of installing and operating biomass power plants is often higher than fossil fuels. The benefits of using biomass power are numerous.
It reduces emissions and supports local economies by creating a new market for biomass products and reducing reliance on fossil fuels. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and has multiple environmental benefits.
For more information about biomass power, check out the authoritative websites below.
The majority of biomass energy is produced from wood, while agricultural biomass accounts for about 22 percent. Wood biomass is typically derived from trees, but can also be made into wooden pellets, sawdust, and wood chips.
Even waste materials from food processing can be converted into biomass fuel. In fact, corn stalks are one of the most common types of biomass fuel used in this country. In addition to biomass energy, this fuel can be used for other purposes, including lighting and cooking.
Although wave energy is not a renewable energy source by itself, it can play a role in the energy mix. In fact, its peak is seasonal and thus it is complementary to solar.
Some companies are working on wave power and plan to test their devices at U.S. Navy Energy Test Site in Hawaii. Regardless, a better understanding of the technology and its benefits will be essential to determining its place in the energy mix.
The greatest potential for wave energy is in areas of high winds, such as the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and British Seas. There are many technologies for harvesting this natural energy source. Some of them resemble giant undersea metallic balloons, while others are made of an enclosed chamber.
The tubes contain individual power generators that activate as waves pass. The process of harvesting wave energy is a complex one, and no one technology exists yet.
The technology behind wave power is not new. In fact, Girard and his sons had patented their concept as early as 1799. In the 1940s, the Empire of Japan took up the challenge and developed wave energy technology.
Yoshio Masuda, a former naval commander, is considered the father of modern wave energy technology. Wave energy technology gained momentum after the oil crisis in 1963. Professor Stephen Hugh Salter developed a device called the Salter duck that converted 90% of wave motion into electricity.
The Salter duck also generated electricity with 80% efficiency.
In a district heating system, geothermal energy is used to heat buildings and provide hot water to homes. The hot water is piped from underground to buildings, where it can be used for heating.
The same method is used for industrial settings, where the heat from the water can heat the buildings. Ultimately, geothermal energy is a clean and renewable energy resource, but it is not without risks.
Geothermal reservoirs are located in the western United States and Alaska. The United States produces more electricity from geothermal sources than any other country in the world.
It was only a fraction of the nation's energy supply in 2015 but is projected to grow by 4.9% per year by 2040. Until then, geothermal energy will remain less than one percent of the nation's total energy use.
The heat is produced in the Earth's interior through the radioactive decay of elements and friction on the margins of continental plates. The heat flows to the surface annually in the form of low-grade heat, and it is a source of electricity for humans.
The energy is virtually limitless and is available around the clock. Unlike wind and solar energy, geothermal energy is not dependent on changing weather conditions.
Hydrogen can be produced through electrolysis, a chemical process that separates hydrogen from oxygen in the water. Hydrogen can be stored and used for energy, but the process is not very efficient.
The production of hydrogen requires specialized semiconductors that can break down water. While green hydrogen can be used in ships, it is not very efficient as an energy source. The production process must be more affordable to make hydrogen widely available.
While hydrogen is naturally found in the atmosphere, most of the gas that we use today is made from fossil fuels. This method releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when hydrogen is burned. The process of reforming creates hydrogen, most of which is used for energy.
Hydrogen can also be produced by splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen with an electrical current. Under certain conditions, algae and bacteria produce hydrogen that can be used for energy.
Today, electrolytic hydrogen is becoming increasingly popular, as interest in renewable electricity, wind, and solar PV grows.
It is estimated that it would take more than three and a half TWh of electricity to generate all of the dedicated hydrogen output in the world. However, building electrolyzers at renewable resource locations would be a low-cost option to meet the needs of consumers. Hydrogen is also a key component of steel production.