What You Should Know About Different Renewable Energy Sources

If you have been looking for comprehensive information on a variety of renewable energy sources, you have come to the right place. This article offers a snapshot of all the available today sustainable ways to generate power. Keep reading because we are going to walk you through the entire set of options, explain how each of them works, and look at their advantages and disadvantages. Without further ado, here is everything that you should know about different renewable energy sources.

Which Energy Sources Are Renewable?

Modern technologies have changed the way we look at many things and the generation of power is not an exception. For more than two hundred years, coal has been the main source of sought-after heat in the homes, fuel for ships and later trains, as well as factories that made iron and steel. Coal is still used today, mainly to produce electricity but the difference between then and now is that we realize this carbon-packed rock is not good for the environment, hence must be substituted for something less harmful.

Lucky for us, the unprecedented advancement of innovative technologies gives us plenty of opportunities to get rid of “bad” habits and contribute to the well-being of our amazing planet. More than that, the use of certain types of sustainable energy sources is really cost-efficient, making them a great solution for a wide range of consumers. The most commercially viable sources available nowadays are solar, wind, hydro, geothermal heat, and biomass. While their virtual infinity (which is the main characteristic of all renewable sources) is something that all sustainable energy sources have in common, each type comes with its own pros and cons. So, let’s take a close look at the four most popular options.

Solar Power

Let’s start with the source that has already found a firm place on the global renewable energy scene. Driven by a very simple idea – to use almost everywhere available sunlight and convert it into electricity – solar power heats our homes and businesses, warms the water, and powers all sorts of appliances and devices. Over recent years, more and more people have recognized numerous benefits brought by this type of power and flocked to a local solar provider with the intent to install solar panels on roofs of their houses. Indeed, who on earth can afford not to take advantage of reduced energy bills, low maintenance cost, and the possibility to create their own energy?

Speaking of solar farms, they are able to generate power for thousands of homes, thanks to the mirrors designed to concentrate sunlight across acres of solar cells. It’s worth mentioning that solar energy systems don’t produce air pollutants or greenhouse gases however they do contribute to global warming emissions during their manufacturing process. Still, solar energy is considered one of the “clearest”.

Wind Power

Even though state-of-the-art wind mills we see today can be the cheapest source of power in terms of production, the initial costs of installing those giants are very high. However, states with a lot of open space and winds of high speed opt for investing in wind plants because the investments return pretty quickly. Powerful turbines can be located onshore or offshore but the thing with turbines is that they can be harmful to wildlife and the environment. While the noise they produce is recognized as an aesthetic polluter, their spinning turbines can kill birds.

Hydro Power

Definitely not a novelty, hydropower is the largest renewable energy source not only in the US but also in many other countries. Just as its name says, it relies on the water, usually in hell-roaring fast rivers or the one that sharply falls from a high point. The blades of powerful turbines turn the force of that water into electricity. While hydroelectric power is clean and abundant, dams often trigger certain environmental concerns.

Geothermal Power

Geothermal energy comes from deep inside the earth, produced by the slow decay of radioactive particles located in the earth’s core. Of course, in contrast to the sunlight available virtually everywhere, this type of energy is not so widely accessible. No doubt, Iceland is the country that really takes advantage of that gift of nature, generating a pretty large part of its electricity through numerous hot spots.

Even though many people still think of renewable energy sources as our future, they have already become an integral part of our life. Some of them, solar and wind energy, for instance, are gaining momentum worldwide, which gives us hope that soon they will be mainstream.