The more we learn about the devastation we are causing to the environment, the more we search for ways to ameliorate, or at least minimise the damage. One way in which we have had extensive progression is the development of renewable energy. Renewable energy is a sustainable power source, such as sunlight, water or wind, which does not rely on harmful sustenance such as coal. By the same token, renewable energy doesn’t come 100% devoid of environmental footprints. For example dams, which are used to capture the power of moving water, do tend to disturb surrounding wildlife. However, the point is to minimise environment effects as much as we can with the current technology we have, and for that, renewable energy is the way forward. Here is a list of renewable energy forms:
Solar energy harnesses the power of the sun: the planet’s most abundant energy resource. Solar energy comes in the form of solar PV panels, which convert energy from the sun into usable electricity, or solar thermal systems which use the energy of the sun to heat water for use in taps, heating systems, etc. The benefits reaped from solar energy are dependent on variables such as geographical location, time of year, weather and time of day. Also if you have purchased solar panels, a solar panel coating can really help improve performance.
Wind power is becoming progressively popular in both of its forms. Air source heat pumps are used to process air from outside through a fan mechanism which extracts heat from air as cold as -15 degrees Celsius and use this to heat rooms or heat water in underfloor heating or radiators. Wind turbines convert kinetic energy to power generators which then transfer electricity to the National Grid.
Biomass involves converting solid plant fuel into electricity. The most common forms of biomass materials are wood, crops and manure. This industrial, agricultural and domestic waste can be converted into solid, gas or liquid fuel. Biomass boilers generate heat by burning wood pellets or chips and can be used for central heating systems. Biomass materials can also be converted into biodiesel fuels or ethanol, for example.
Geothermal energy works by harnessing steam energy or hot water from the ground and transforming this into usable energy. Ground source heat pumps use fluid-filled tubes which are buried underground to harness the natural heat of the earth and can send this up into a property to heat the property and its water systems. Geothermal energy is most effective in countries such as Iceland, where there is an abundance of subterranean heat.
With references to water wheels dating back to around 4000 B.C, the harnessing of hydropower is hardly a new concept and has proven to be both sustainable and reliable. In addition to water wheels, dams are a particularly dependable renewable energy source due to the retention and storage of water which is pumped between the upper and lower reservoirs to manage power generation between low and peak demand times.