Renewable sources of energy are those that are practically inexhaustible. These sources include the sun, wind, ocean, geothermal heat, and rain. The sun produces solar energy every day and will continue to do so indefinitely, for as long as it burns. The wind produces energy every time it blows. The ocean generates energy with every powerful motion of the tides.
You get the idea In contrast, fossil fuels, which supply almost all of our energy needs, will eventually get depleted due to our constant and irresponsible consumption. Burning fossil fuels, to generate the huge amounts of energy we need, also releases byproducts that are damaging to the environment. On the other hand, renewable sources of energy are very environment-friendly.
Many individuals who want to do their part in reducing fossil fuel consumption and saving the environment opt for solar energy, among all the other renewable sources of energy. Existing solar energy technologies use the sun’s natural light and heat to power certain devices, like calculators, solar lights, and camping and hiking equipment. Households can install solar collectors on their roofs to provide heating to their water systems and even their swimming pools. Solar energy technology has recently become very popular and it won’t be difficult to find a provider that can sell you the solar technology and/or install it for you.
You can even build and install your own solar collector using readily available materials and instructions that you can find at your local hardware store and/or the internet. However, you must know that installation costs of solar technology may reach up to $20,000.00.
In the United States, the preferred form of renewable source of energy is the wind. There are plenty of wind farms scattered throughout the country. The energy produced by these windmills, about 2,500 megawatts, is used to pump water and grind grains in farms.
The technology has not changed much since the 18th century when windmills became popular in Europe and were used for the same purposes. The wind spins the blades of the windmill, and the potential energy is transferred to a generator which then converts it to electricity.
However, windmills can only be placed in locations where the winds blow strong and constantly. And even in these windy places, the windmills only work effectively to produce adequate energy during certain months of the year. As a result, only a small portion of our country’s renewable energy supply is provided by our wind farms.
Geothermal heat is the energy produced by hot water and steam which are trapped in the earth’s core. The most popular geothermal energy technology that has been developed so far is geothermal heat pumps. As the name implies, a geothermal heat pump collects the heat trapped deeply underground and uses that heat to generate usable energy. However, just like wind energy, this renewable source of energy can only be sourced from very limited locations. But communities that are near geothermal energy sources can fully take advantage of the existing technology.
Among all the renewable sources of energy, rain energy is the most recently discovered and the least known. Scientists have already proven that falling water also generates energy that can be harnessed and converted into a usable form. The full potential of rain energy is still being studied so that a practical technology can be developed to turn it into a great alternative energy source option.
With all the recent discoveries and technological developments being made almost every day, our options for renewable sources of energy continue to increase. This is a very good thing for the environment. We can effectively minimize our fossil fuel consumption, thereby also minimizing the harm we are doing to the environment. The ultimate goal is for us to be completely independent of fossil fuels when it comes to our energy needs by switching to renewable sources of energy.