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Renewable energy from wind power
Renewable energy from solar power
energy from biomass and biofuel
energy from geothermal heat pumps
energy from hydro power
Renewable energy can be
used to produce electricity, generate heat and transport goods and
people. Renewable energy is energy that is essentially
inexhaustible. Renewable energy is energy generated from natural
resources such as sunlight, wind, flowing water and replaceable fuel
such as plants.
Renewable energy is energy generated from natural resources like
wind, radiation from the sun and heat from within the earth. Such
energy will not run out and can be used to generate electricity.
Unlike the burning of fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere, these ‘clean’ energies do not release substances that
are harmful to the environment.
Renewable energy technologies include solar power, wind power,
hydroelectricity, and biofuels.
"Renewable energy is derived from natural processes that are
replenished constantly. In its various forms, it derives directly
from the sun, or from heat generated deep within the earth. Included
in the definition is electricity and heat generated from solar,
wind, ocean, hydropower, biomass, geothermal resources, and biofuels
and hydrogen derived from renewable resources."
The International Energy Agency
Here is a brief outline of the different types of renewable energy.
Please see the menu on the left for a more detailed explanation of
Wind energy is the kinetic energy that is present in moving air.
This kinetic energy of the wind can be changed into other forms of
energy such as mechanical energy or electrical. Wind energy is a
pollution-free, infinitely sustainable form of energy. It doesn’t
use fuel, it doesn’t produce greenhouse gasses and it doesn’t
produce toxic or radioactive waste.
Solar energy refers to the utilisation of energy from the Sun. Solar
energy can be converted into other forms of energy, such as heat and
Solar energy can be applied in many ways, these include:
Solar panels – Solar panels are an ideal source of renewable energy
as it is pollution free. Solar panels produces electricity quietly
unlike the energy produced from the use of fossil fuels and some
other types of renewable energy which can be noisy.
Solar energy enables electricity to be produced in remote locations
that are not linked to a national grid.
Biomass is produced from organic materials derived from living
organisms or from metabolic by-products (organic or food waste
products) such as wood, woodchips, paper, trash, agricultural crops,
animal waste, manure, sewage, hemp and algae.
Biomass contains stored energy from the sun as plants use
photosynthesis to grow and produce biomass.
When burned, the chemical energy in biomass is released as heat. If
you have a fireplace, the wood you burn is a biomass fuel. Wood
waste or garbage is burned to produce steam for making electricity
and to provide heat to industries and homes.
Also known as biomatter, biomass can be used directly as fuel or to
produce liquid biofuel. Agriculturally produced biomass fuels, such
as biodiesel and ethanol can be burned in internal combustion
engines or boilers.
Biofuel is any fuel derived from biomass. Biofuel is a renewable
energy source. The two types of biofuels are ethanol and biodiesel.
Biofuels can help reduce air toxics emissions, greenhouse gas build
up and dependence on fossil fuels. Biofuels are commonly used to
power vehicles and cooking stoves.
Biofuels offer the possibility of producing energy without a net
increase of carbon into the atmosphere because the plants used in to
produce the fuel have removed CO2 from the atmosphere during growth,
unlike fossil fuels which return carbon which was stored beneath the
earth’s surface for millions of years into the air. Biofuel is
therefore more carbon neutral and less likely to increase
atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases .The use of biofuels
also reduces dependence on petroleum.
Hydroelectricity is a form of hydropower and is the most widely used
form of renewable energy. It produces no waste and does not produce
carbon dioxide (CO2) a greenhouse gas.
Hydroelectric power is generated by harnessing the power of moving
water. Hydro electricity extracted from water depends not only on
the volume but on the difference in height between the source and
the water's outflow.
Hydro power systems convert potential energy stored in water held at
height into kinetic energy movement to turn a turbine to produce
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) use the constant temperature of the
earth as the exchange medium instead of the outside air temperature
A geothermal heat pump uses the Earth’s ability to store heat in the
ground and water thermal masses to produce heating or air
These systems operate based on the
stability of underground temperatures: the ground, a few feet below
surface has a very stable temperature throughout the year depending
upon the location's annual climate. A geothermal heat pump uses the
available heat in the winter and puts heat back into the ground in