Renewable energy refers to energy derived from naturally-occurring sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectric power that can be constantly replenished . This contrasts with energy sources like oil and coal, which rely on burning material which must be found, extracted and which is not recreated. Read on to find out more about renewable energy.
The largest source of renewable energy currently used is hydroelectric power. Hydroelectric power involves the harness of the kinetic energy of flowing water to turn turbines in order to produce electricity. A similar form of renewable energy is wind power, which involves harnessing the kinetic energy of wind currents to turn large fan-like turbines.
Solar power refers to the use of the light and heat produced by the sun as an energy source. The oldest, and perhaps the most common type of renewable energy is the burning of biomass energy. This includes burning wood in a fireplace to heat a home. Plants have more recently been used to create bio fuels and bio gases as an alternative to natural gas.
Geothermal energy is another type of renewable energy that is produced by harnessing the natural heat of the earth's core to produce power. Given the increasing population of the human race, the importance of renewable energy is likely to continue to increase in the future, as well as a shift toward more cost-efficient energy sources.
The present and the future of renewable energy Currently, most of the world's vehicles operate on gasoline or diesel fuel derived from crude oil, and renewable substitutes to these fuels, such as ethanol, are not terribly energy-efficient. Other clean technologies, such as electric power, hydrogen power cells, compressed air, or new biofuels present possible sources of renewable and efficient fuels for vehicles. From the standpoint of electrical power, solar energy has a huge potential, considering the fact that the amount of energy the sun produces is one thousand times greater than the needs of earth.