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What Really is Renewable Energy?

Updated on April 3, 2016
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With the advent of global warming, we all have to find a way to make things better for our poor suffering planet. The best way that this can be done is by using renewable energy that does not harm the atmosphere, but rather gives back to nature!

Oil, coal or natural gas, which is used by most countries, is NOT renewable energy! All of the above are fossil fuels which will eventually be depleted, and they will become more expensive as they dwindle down to nothing. These substances are also very damaging to the environment.

Renewable energy comes mostly from nature and can be easily replenished. Some forms of renewable energy that we can and should use are:

· Sunlightsolar energy can be utilized to heat and light homes, streetlights, and can also be successfully used for heating the hot water cylinder, which utilizes most of the power in any home, by use of solar panels .

·

Wind – the power of the wind has been used for many years in the form of wind turbines, which can generate sufficient power to provide a small town with all their heating and power needs.


Bangui Wind Farm, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. The wind farm uses 20 units of 70-meter high VestasV82-1.65MW wind turbines, arranged on a single row stretching along a nine-kilometer shoreline off Bangui Bay, facing the South China Sea via Wikipedia
Bangui Wind Farm, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. The wind farm uses 20 units of 70-meter high VestasV82-1.65MW wind turbines, arranged on a single row stretching along a nine-kilometer shoreline off Bangui Bay, facing the South China Sea via Wikipedia | Source
Source

· Hydrogen – is the most abundant element on earth and can be found in water and other organic compounds. It is not a natural gas , but is normally mixed with oxygen to make water. If separated from other elements, hydrogen can be utilized as a fuel or turned into electricity .

· Bio-energy – is created by organic matter that makes up plants, known as biomass. This biomass can be utilized to produce electricity, fuel for transportation and chemicals.

A typical ethanol plant in West Burlington, Iowa (Big River Resources, LLC).
A typical ethanol plant in West Burlington, Iowa (Big River Resources, LLC). | Source
Typical Brazilian made dual-fuel (ethanol and gasoline) or full flex-fuel automobile models.
Typical Brazilian made dual-fuel (ethanol and gasoline) or full flex-fuel automobile models. | Source

· Ocean energy – comes from various sources such as tidal energy, and wave energy which is driven by wind and tide factors. The sun also plays a part in ocean energy, as it creates a temperature difference which can be transferred into energy to use in the production of electricity. Other energy from the oceans is created by the pull of the sun and the moon on the earth’s gravity.



Evopod is a semi-submerged, floating, tethered tidal energy capture device. It uses a simple but effective mooring system that allows the free floating device to maintain optimum heading into the tidal stream (source: oceanflowenergy.com)
Evopod is a semi-submerged, floating, tethered tidal energy capture device. It uses a simple but effective mooring system that allows the free floating device to maintain optimum heading into the tidal stream (source: oceanflowenergy.com) | Source
Geothermal Borehole house, Iceland
Geothermal Borehole house, Iceland | Source

· Geothermal energy – is energy that comes from deep within the core of the earth. This energy draws from the internal heat in order to create electricity used for anything from heating homes to cooling offices.

Renewable energy can replace conventional fuels in four different areas; transport fuels, heating or cooling, electricity generation and for energy services in rural areas that are off the grid.

Renewable energy currently provides only approximately 18% of the total worldwide electricity generation. Rural areas are finding great relief from the cold and darkness by utilizing solar and hydro-power. Biogas is also being used by many rural inhabitants.

Although some countries are doing quite well in changing the habits of hundreds of years and making more use of renewable energy, there is still much to be done, and each one of us can do our bit when it comes to that. Invest in a solar panel for your house, and do not use your car for going to the shops when a five minute walk are just some of the small steps we can make as individuals to complement the larger steps our governments should be doing to wean us away from dependence on finite resources for our energy needs such as fossil fuels.

As we think about our future and consider the generations that will follow us, we need to ensure that they will also enjoy that which we do today. Our daily lives depend on utilization of energy, without sources for energy we will face drastic changes in the quality of our lives. Finite resources will not guarantee the future for our children and future generations. This what renewable energy is all about, a source of energy that can be replenished, a source of energy that guarantees a bright future for all.

Renewable Energy in the 21st Century Documentary

Is investing in renewable energy sources (solar panels, small wind turbines) for households, small businesses and farms too expensive?

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    • Anna Sternfeldt profile image

      Anna Sternfeldt 

      5 years ago from Svenljunga, Sweden

      This subject is here to stay, and we really need a lot of discussions on the matter, so thanks for your help in doing that!

      Renewable is a must, but it also has to be "sustainable", which many forget about. Many think that as long as it is renewable it is fine, but there are a lot of stuff around it all to make even renewable energy viable and sustainable.

    • moiragallaga profile imageAUTHOR

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks adeaugustus. The Philippines is trying its best to diversify its energy sources. We still rely quite a bit on fossil fuels, though an effort is being made to aggressively promote renewable energy. Strangely enough, we are the 2nd largest producer of geothermal energy and considered a leader in the field. We also make use of a lot of hydroelectirc power, however, come dry season and periods of very low rainfall the outputs from hydro are affected. Biomass, solar and wind are the other sources my country is looking at to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

    • moiragallaga profile imageAUTHOR

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      That was part of the challenge in writing the hub Binaya, keeping it brief but informative. It could get too technical and might end up as a boring read if you really try to get into all the details. I think at the moment what needs to be done about the issue is to help generate a broad awareness of the importance of renewable energy.

    • profile image

      Binaya.Ghimire 

      7 years ago

      The hub is brief but brims with interesting information.

    • moiragallaga profile imageAUTHOR

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      That's right Brett, we need to start the change now before it's too late. We owe this to future generations.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 

      7 years ago from Asia

      Voted up and interesting.

      Nicely written and valid hub. As nonrenewable fuels dwindle, we really need to make the change before they run out. Not to mention the impact that most of these have on our environment! Time to start the change ...

    • froch profile image

      froch 

      7 years ago from Tychy

      Nice hub with nice photos! Vote up! ;-)

    • moiragallaga profile imageAUTHOR

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks alanlsg. Our country right now is in the process of ramping-up its renewable energy program. There are a lot of challenges and issues (the big oil companies for example) but hopefully we hope to overcome them one of these days. But as the gist of my hub states, we can also do our part in support of government efforts to develop renewable energy.

    • alanlsg profile image

      Alan Bowman 

      7 years ago from The World

      Great Moiragallaga

      Keep pushing the message and have a great weekend.

      Kind regards

      Alan

      www.pawrs.com

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