Renewable Energy

Types of Renewable Energy Sources and Their Applications

What is an energy source that is renewable?

Renewable energy sources are energy that is sustainable, something that isn’t depleted or is inexhaustible just like the sun. When you hear “alternative energy”, it’s usually in reference to renewable energy sources, too. It refers to energy sources that are different from the most popular non-sustainable sources such as coal.

What exactly is zero-carbon or low-carbon energy?

Nuclear energy isn’t renewable, but it’s low-carbon, meaning the generation of electricity emits very low levels or virtually no CO2, similar to the renewable power sources. Nuclear energy is an energy source that is stable that means it’s not dependent on weather and can be a major factor in the process of getting Britain toward net zero emission status.

The most sought-after renewable energy sources are currently:

  • Solar energy
  • Wind energy
  • Hydro energy
  • Tidal energy
  • Geothermal energy
  • Biomass energy

How these forms of renewable energy are used?

1) Solar energy

The sun is one of the planet’s largest and easily accessible energy sources. Solar energy is absorbed by the earth’s surface within an hour is greater than the earth’s energy needs for the entire year. Although it seems like an ideal renewable energy source but how much solar power we are able to utilize varies based on the time of the day, the season and also the geographical location. In the UK solar power is a growing method to boost your energy consumption. Find out if it’s the right option for you by taking a look at our guide on solar energy.

2) Wind energy

Wind power is the most abundant source of renewable energy. Wind farms are a well-known image throughout the UK with the power of wind making an ever-growing amount to National Grid. In order to harness the power of winds, wind turbines utilized to drive generators, which transmit electricity to the National Grid. While off-grid or domestic generation systems are accessible but not every home is suitable for a residential wind turbine. Learn more about wind power on our page about wind power.

3) Hydro energy

As a renewable resource for energy hydro power is among that has the highest commercial development. Through the construction of a dam, or barrier vast reservoir could be utilized to produce an controlled flow of water to generate a turbine, which will produce electricity. This type of energy source is often thought to be more efficient than wind or solar power (especially in the case of tidal instead of river) and allows the storage of electricity to be used when demand is at an extreme. Similar to wind power but in certain instances, hydro is more suitable as an energy source for commercial purposes (dependant on its type and relative with other energy sources) but it is dependent on the kind of land, hydro could be used for domestic or “off-grid” generation. Find out more on our page on hydro power.

4) Tidal energy

It is a different type of hydro energy which makes use of regularly-scheduled tidal currents that drive turbine generators. Although the flow of tidal currents unlike other sources of hydro power isn’t always constant, it’s very predictable, and thus can be able to compensate for periods where the tide’s current is lower. Learn more about it by visiting our page on marine energy.

5) Geothermal energy

Utilizing the natural warmth below the surface of the earth Geothermal energy can be used directly to heat homes or generate electricity. While it is able to harness energy source that is directly beneath our feet, the energy of geothermal is not of much importance in the UK in comparison to other countries like Iceland in which geothermal energy is more readily available.

6) Biomass Energy

It is the process of converting the solid fuel produced by plants substances into electricity. While it is fundamentally, biomass involves burning organic materials to create electricity, it is a more clean and energy efficient method. In the process of converting industrial, agricultural and household waste into liquid, solid and gas-based fuels and energy sources, biomass produces power at less environmental and economic cost.

What isn’t renewable energy?

Fossil fuels do not constitute renewable sources of energy since they do not have an infinite supply of energy. They also discharge carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which causes climate change and global warming.

Wood burning instead of coal can be a bit better, but it’s not as simple. On one side wood is a renewable resource, provided that it comes from sustainable forests. The wood pellets as well as the compressed briquettes can be leftovers from industries that process wood, and thus, in a sense, are recycling materials.

Compressed biomass fuels create more energy than others. However burning wood (whether it’s raw wood or waste that has been processed) release particles in the environment.

Future of Renewable Energy: The promise for renewable power

As the world population grows as does the need for energy that will supply our homes as well as businesses and communities. Development and innovation in renewable energy sources is essential to maintain the sustainability of our energy sources and securing our planet from the effects of climate changes.

Renewable energy sources account for 26 percent of the world’s electricity in the present, but as per the International Energy Agency (IEA) the share of battery energy storage systems sources is projected to increase to 30 percent in 2024. “This is a pivotal time for renewable energy,” the executive director of the IEA, FatihBirol.

In 2020 in 2020, the UK reached a brand new landmark in renewable energy. On June 10 the nation enjoyed two months of running solely using green energy, for the very first time. This is an important move in the right direction in the direction of renewable energy.

Renewable energy sources and your home

The benefits of the use of renewable energy in a home setting are convincing:

Reduce your energy bill: Once you’ve paid the cost of installing an energy-efficient system that’s renewable then you’ll become less dependent to National Grid. National Grid and your energy costs will be lower.

You will be paid for the energy you generate The Feed-in Tariff reimburses you for electricity. That you generate regardless of whether you utilize it for other purposes.

Sell back electricity to the grid you generate enough energy to sell excess energy back to the National Grid. You can be eligible for an additional payout from the Feed-in Tariff program.

Reducing your carbon footprint by using green, renewable sources of energy. It does not emit carbon dioxide or any other pollutants that are harmful to the atmosphere. Based on the Energy Saving Trust’s Solar panels page the standard solar power system. It will save between 1.5 to two tonnes of carbon each year.

Energy facts for renewable sources

  • Solar PV is expected to account for 5 percent of global demand by 2020, and up to 9% in 2030.
  • In 2050 our energy requirements will be covered by 100 renewable energy sources
  • Price Waterhouse Cooper predicts that Africa could be running completely on energy storage systems by 2050.
  • In the past four decades the price for solar panels decreased by to 99%.
  • A US study found that energy storage systems generate three times more jobs than fossil fuels.
  • The investment in energy storage systems has outpaced fossil fuel investment. The global market for renewable energy is now worth $250 billion

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