Renewable energy is energy that is produced by natural givers of energy. These include the sun, tides, rain, wind and geothermal heat.
One of the most common ways of using renewable energy is by hydropower. Hydro means water, and power means energy. There is energy in water; it can therefore be used to provide more usable energy. Water is actually 800 times denser than air. In hydroelectricity, it can further be divided into several forms depending on how water is used to produce energy. In areas that experience good supply of water, rivers are a common source of water. Dam less hydro systems uses kinetic energy from rivers. A power station may be built near rivers. This contains a water reservoir that can provide to other stations. The natural flow of the river is used to generate electricity.
Hydroelectric energy is a term that is used to refer to major generation of electricity. Large scale dams are used in this one. It is one of the most commonly used methods. This method uses a water turbine and a generator.
Also in this group are micro hydro systems that can produce unto 100kw. Areas that experience sufficient supply of water can use this system to produce electricity. It can be used to replace solar energy especially during winter. The last method is ocean energy. This uses a number of techniques to get water from oceans and seas. Some of these are the marine current power and ocean thermal energy conversion. Oceans have very large amounts of energy and this method can be used to provide electricity to homes, industries and for transport.
Renewable Energy Sources
- Wind Power
- Solar Power
- Geothermal Power
- Biomass Power
The other type is the solar energy that is derived from the sun. Solar radiation is the process through which the total spectrum of electro magnetic radiation is given off from the sun. One of the ways the sun is used is by using solar hot water systems. In this one, a storage tank is placed horizontally above solar collectors in a roof. The water in the tank gets hot and it rises and gets into the collectors. With this, you can be sure of availability of water throughout, and especially during summer. A solar cooker also uses the sunlight as its major source when cooking food. One way of doing this is by concentrating a mirror or any other type of reflective material, to make energy concentrated by concentrating light to a cooking area. You can also use black pans to cook food, as they are faster in absorbing heat.
Wind power is the third source of renewable energy. Wind is used to run wind turbines. The effectiveness of a turbine will depend on the amount of wind. The stronger the wind, the more the turbines run. They are normally used in wind farm to produce energy.
Another type of renewable energy is bio fuel. This may consist of a bio alcohol or oil. Sugar and starch plants can be processed by a process known as fermenting to produce bio ethanol, which is an alcohol. Some trees and grass have also been used as sources of ethanol. Ethanol is used in vehicles as fuel or as an additive to gasoline. In oil, the bio diesel is derived from animal fats and vegetable oils. The bio diesel can also be used as fuel.
Biomass can also be refereed to as renewable source because plant materials use the sun in the process of photosynthesis. Plants use the sun's energy to make food. Plants also get burnt by the sun to produce energy.
The last but not least type of renewable energy is the geothermal energy. This energy is derived from the earth's crust. There is heat in the core of the earth and geothermal heat pump is used to tap it.
The main advantage of using renewable sources of energy is that most are applications that you can try at home. They are mainly do-it –yourself methods and do not require any experience. As the name suggests, they are renewable forms. This means that they can be used repeatedly without replacements or depleting.
This leads to the next advantage. They are cheap and affordable forms of producing energy. The sun, the wind and other sources are all natural and are not bought. The use of solar radiation has been used in remote areas where rainfall is not experienced, to cook food. The advantage is that they are natural ways and therefore, keep the environment clean unlike other forms of energy. They are not capable of producing carbon based or polluting agents. This saves on health problems too because they are no effects on health with these.
The use of renewable sources of energy will therefore improve the lives of many people. All that is needed is a little intelligence and creativity. Use of these methods will create some sense of responsibility towards others and the environment that you live in.