- Renewable energy is the naturally generated energy that exists infinitely in nature and won’t deplete no matter how many times you use it.
- Solar, wind, hydro, Biomass, Tidal, and Geothermal are never-ending renewable energy sources of planet Earth.
- Renewable sources are secure, diverse, and stable alternative fuel source that provides a base for energy freedom.
- An unpredictable energy generation machines require ample space and increased funding for storing and setup and sometimes can contribute to polluting the environment.
The overuse of non-renewable resources available in nature has led to significant changes. The insane amount of fossil fuels and their oil has simultaneously reduced quantity and environmental pollution.
As a consequence, we are facing environmental issues like climate change. Therefore it’s high time that we start taking steps against these issues and make this world a better place to live in.
Table of Contents
What is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is the naturally generated energy that exists infinitely in nature. It won’t deplete no matter how many times you use it. We need to use more renewable power today to save our planet.
Renewable energy is generated from elements of nature that won’t face scarcity. These sources include the sun, the wind, the water, the Earth, fossils, and biomass. The energy generated from these sources is efficient, clean, and, most importantly, cost-effective.
While switching to renewable power, using some of these energy resources may initially cost more, they will reduce your electricity bills in the long run.
Renewable energy in the USA provided 20% of its electricity generation in 2020, while hydropower and wind power significantly contribute to 15.7 % of the production.
In this article, you will learn about the benefits and drawbacks of these renewable energy sources and the different types of renewable energy sources.
Types of Renewable Energy Sources
While renewable energy is available infinitely in nature, there are different sources for them. Here are the primary sources that can generate renewable energy.
This type of energy is produced by the energy received from the sun. Solar panels embedded with photovoltaic cells help to absorb this type of energy and convert it into electrical energy.
The speed of the wind is utilized to produce wind energy. The higher the wind speed, the more electricity it can generate. A wind turbine converts wind energy into electricity.
Hydropower is one of the most popular and widely-used energy sources. Electric current is produced through the falling water and distributed through a generator.
The form of energy produced through solid plant materials is called biomass. It produces fuels through agricultural, industrial, and domestic waste in solid, liquid, and gas. It requires burning organic materials. Yet, it creates much less environmental harm than non-renewable resources.
The electric energy produced through the ocean’s tides is called tidal energy. It is much like wind energy and creates energy through tidal stream generators, which is not very common. However, it has a high potential for the future.
Geothermal Energy is the source of heat energy produced from within the Earth. It requires drilling of pipes in the places where steam and water trying to escape the Earth are preserved under high pressure.
Advantages of Renewable Energy
Since renewable energy sources provide clean energy, they are not dangerous to your appliances. They are hygienic, unlike fossil fuels. Similarly, fossil fuels are finite, so we are running out of the fuel we use for power.
Renewable energy sources are abundant, and they go beyond being finite. The possibilities and potential of the use of these sources if virtually limitless.
You can choose from different types of renewable energy according to your convenience. You can use solar, wind, hydropower, tidal, or any other kind of energy to produce clean energy for yourself.
3. The base for Energy Freedom
Because you can own these power sources, you will have energy freedom. Energy freedom means you won’t depend on your state or government for power supply. Be it an electricity or heating system, you can produce energy for yourself and thus provide very little profit to the government.
Since renewable energy is available infinitely in nature, you won’t ever have to face a lack of it. Therefore, it is also very stable, with minimal cases of low voltage or power cuts. With an infrastructure to support it, it can become a dependable resource.
The service and maintenance of these energy production grids create jobs as well. Also, isolated and rural communities can benefit from the transfer of the power produced.
5. Substitute for Fuel
Finally, renewable energy replaces fossil fuel, which is non-renewable. Also, it emits a lot of harmful chemicals to the environment. Renewable energy does not do that since all the sources produce electricity through a slight change in the natural phenomenon of the natural elements.
Renewable energy is ideal for the Earth due to environmental degradation and crisis. They release little to no pollutants or greenhouse gases, reducing respiratory health issues.
Disadvantages of Renewable Energy
1. Location limitations
Some types of renewable energy only apply to a specific location. For example, solar energy is useless in cold and foggy regions. Similarly, wind energy cannot be used in places with barely any wind. Thus, one should think carefully about which energy type they want to utilize.
2. Need storage capacity
Renewable energy does not have a storage system. Because of that, we need backup storage systems to preserve the energy produced through it. There are storage technologies available today, but they can be expensive.
Although the cost of a backup storage unit may add to your expenses, the storage capacity is growing, and the batteries are becoming more affordable with time.
Some renewable energy, like biomass, needs to be burned to utilize. The burning material emits smoke and causes air pollution. Similarly, hydropower may cause disturbances in the biodiversity of water resources.
Thus, we must keep the environment in mind while trying to generate power through such means. While most sources are clean, the methods to generate electricity from them can adversely affect the ecosystems.
4. Need frequent funding
Because renewable energy sources do not collect much of their consumers’ finances, so they need stable funding. They are dependent upon a financial source for service and maintenance.
Installing wind turbines, solar panels, and hydroelectricity plants is expensive. Without investments and funding, the production of these production grids will be limited to plans and not implemented.
5. Require a considerable space
Usually, machines that help convert these natural renewable energy sources into usable power are enormous. So, they require a massive amount of space. Therefore, if you plan to install any of these systems in your house, you must ensure you have enough space.
Reduce overreliance on a single non-renewable source
While we are slowly moving towards more sustainable energy methods, we are still highly reliant on the non-renewables. Because of this issue, the world cannot be entirely sustainable despite the availability of sources.
Be it because of a lack of required technology or the expenses, something is always stopping us from being sustainable and environmental. Nonetheless, there are some ways we can reduce such a pattern.
While renewable energy sources are good for the environment, and it is best to switch to these sources, there are chances of overuse. Such is the pattern of energy use in the world, but there are quite a few sources that can be relied on except just one.
You can adapt to renewable natural resources by starting small. You can start by using small appliances run on solar energy. Once started, you can gradually change other devices to the environment-friendly.
You can use the waste in your house to produce biomass and energy from it. You can shift from one source to another and not rely on just one source you install. Switching between sources is ideal for using the power available from different sources and creating an eco-friendly print.
Although investing in renewable methods is expensive, they are cost-effective and serve better than the traditional power options in the long run. Make sure you find out about the different grids that can help you create clean and sustainable energy.
The advantages of renewable energy outweigh the disadvantages. Despite the disadvantages, it helps planet Earth to lower its carbon footprint. Also, these flaws exist because of the lack of attention.
However, the technology in renewable energy has potential that has yet to be realized. The potential hasn’t met the mark due to some limitations. Once people start investing in this technology, it becomes economical and environmentally beneficial.
(Last Updated on July 21, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)