The modern world depends largely on nonrenewable energy resources. With rising demand for energy, natural gas, coal, and oil are getting used up pretty fastly.
Fossil fuels are limited in supply. Heavy reliance on fossil fuels is detrimental to our planet. Global warming, rising sea levels, floods and other disasters suggest it is high time to begin transition to renewable energy!
Energy generated from renewable natural resources like sunlight, wind, thermal energy, water and other organic materials is called renewable energy. We all know that renewable resources never run out of stock! Being cost-efficient, they renew faster than they get used up!Use of renewable energy resources creates several job opportunities, accelerates economic growth, and also helps in decreasing inequitable fossil fuel subsidies.
With the current rate of consumption, it is sure that some fossil fuels will not last another century! Eco-friendly and reliable resources of energy are vital for our future needs.
Let’s take a look at the positives of renewable energy and their importance in creating a sustainable future!
There are several natural resources which generate clean energy. Use of renewable energy resources is critical for sustainable and efficient living. It is best to use common and cost-effective sources of renewable energy which have high potential for replacing fossil fuels.
It is found in abundance and is technically an endless energy resource. Solar renewable energy can be converted into electricity using photovoltaic systems. In short, radiant energy captured from sunlight is turned into electrical power with the help of certain devices. Solar farms can meet the energy requirements of thousands of homes.
The biggest advantage of solar energy is its endless supply. Our planet receives solar energy at a rate 10,000 times greater than how people consume it. It is an apt replacement for fossil fuels. It can be used for providing electricity and hot water and for cooling and heating purposes.
One of the primary limitations is that the upfront investment in solar systems is rather expensive. This mainly prevents businesses and households from switching to the alternate energy source at once. But it is still touted to be favorable, because in the long run it can decrease energy costs considerably. To add on to it, they are increasingly becoming more affordable at all levels!
Wind is another example of a clean source of energy. Kinetic energy of the wind flow is used by the wind farms for producing electricity. But one limitation is that they can’t be set up in any location that we want. For remaining cost-efficient, it is important that they operate in windy areas. All countries need not have favorable conditions for setting up wind farms on a large scale. Wind energy brings in diversity and has immense potential.
Unlike nonrenewable energy resources, wind energy is clean and safe for nature. It does not pollute the environment with harmful substances.
Investing in wind energy is an economically wise option. Wind farms are capable of delivering electricity at a price lower than nonrenewable resources. As wind energy is unlimited in supply, it never gets affected by the imbalance of supply and demand.
We can find renewable energy resources beneath the ground as well. Geothermal energy is generated from the thermal energy from the earth’s interior. At times heat reaches the surface naturally in the form of geysers. Geothermal power plants convert earth’s heat into steam which turns a turbine, producing geothermal energy.
There are low emissions and significant energy is produced. Geothermal plants are expected to increase electricity production from 17 billion kWh in 2020 to 49.8 billion kWh in 2050.
But, there are limitations as well. It can be accessed only in particular regions. Geological hotspots are mostly vulnerable to earthquakes.
The kinetic and thermal energy of the ocean is a major resource. Ocean power systems depend on changing sea levels, wave energy, surface temperatures of water and energy produced from seawater and freshwater mixing.
The resource is plentiful and is always a viable option for the energy industry.
Wave energy systems are still in the developing stage, trying to adjust with the harsh ocean conditions.
Large equipment installed in the ocean for harnessing energy, disrupts marine life to an extent.
Organic materials like wood and charcoal are used for heating and lighting purposes across the globe. Bioenergy can be produced from various types of biomass including trees, cereal straws, and grass.
Biomass is converted into energy either through burning or by using the methane produced during decomposition. The amount of greenhouse gasses released in the process is much lower compared to nonrenewable energy use.
Biomass is definitely a reliable source of energy, but only suited for limited applications. If used on a large scale, it might cause disruptions in biodiversity, end up having a negative impact on land use, and also lead to deforestation.
Renewable energy has the potential to meet people’s energy requirements on an international scale. It involves little to no greenhouse gas emissions. Use of renewable energy resources boost self-sufficiency and reduce a nation’s dependence on foreign fuel.
Emergence of green energy plants creates several job opportunities. Use of renewable energy promotes equality. It makes energy more affordable for low-income countries and improves access to energy even in remote areas.
The production of renewable energy largely relies on weather conditions. And also, the return on investment need not be necessarily immediate. The technology for completely utilizing renewable resources is still in its development phase. It definitely cannot become a substitute for fossil fuels overnight. We require more research, investment, and time for complete transition to renewable energy.
Check your knowledge
Solar energy, Wind energy, Geothermal energy, Ocean energy and Biomass energy.
Coal, Natural Gas, Nuclear energy, and Hydrocarbon gas liquids.
Geothermal energy is generated from the thermal energy from the earth’s interior.