The world is developing, and the need for energy is rising every year. We need more power and electricity for our homes and workplaces. Renewable energy is the key solution to this ongoing demand.
What is renewable energy?
Renewable energy is the energy that originates from infinite sources. It almost can’t run out. Moreover, renewable energy sources do not release harmful pollutants into the atmosphere, like carbon dioxide, which damages our planet causing climate change and global warming.
The main types of renewable energy include solar, wind, water (also called hydro), geothermal and biomass.
Wind is a clean source of energy. To harness electricity from wind energy, special turbines are used in the process of driving wind generators. With kinetic energy, the wind energy is converted into electricity, which then goes into the National Grid system. The average wind speed in the area should be high enough to drive the system. Yet wind power is considered to be the least harmful source of energy, it is not as reliable and efficient as solar energy.
Hydropower is the energy of moving (falling or fast-running) water power. It is one of the oldest renewable energy sources. Since the 19th century the hydropower has also been used in the process of generating electricity. Although in the process of creating hydro energy no greenhouse gasses are emitted, the hydropower can harm the quality of water, give rise to fish migration and cause environmental threats to the wildlife. Geothermal energy is the process of using the natural heat below the earth’s surface, generating from it electricity. It can be used also to heat homes.
Biomass energy is the conversion of solid fuel made from plant materials into electricity, including agricultural, industrial and domestic waste, generating a low cost power.
Solar energy generates from the sun’s energy, therefore it is inexhaustible. Sun is the most popular renewable energy source. The amount of solar energy that reaches the earth’s surface during an hour is enough to meet the energy requirements needed for the planet for a whole year.
The history of solar energy goes back to ancient times, when people built their homes toward the sun, to warm their homes with the sun energy. Sunlight was also used to light fires with glass materials thus cooking food, protecting themselves from wild animals, as well as during religious ceremonies. Later in the ancient Roman empire, sunrooms were built in the houses to manage the temperature of the whole house with its natural warmth. This method of sunrooms is also popular nowadays, and is used in modern architecture solutions.
Solar power technologies go to the 19th century, with photovoltaic effect discovery. With the development of solar technologies, the first solar panels were created in the 20th century. In the 1970s, the first solar panels were installed on the roof of the White House. With solar power system technologies advancing, the solar systems are becoming more efficient and more affordable for a regular citizen.
Today, one way of harnessing the energy of the sun is with solar panels. When sunlight reaches the photovoltaic cells, which are the main component of the solar panels, electricity is generated. A solar power inverter takes the direct current (DC) energy produced by the photovoltaic power system and converts it to alternating current (AC). This helps you to run the appliances and electronics in your home.
Another way of solar power conversion is generating thermal solar energy with help of solar convertors, used in water heating systems. It is usually used in homes heating systems with the tubes in the floors and ceiling.
What are the benefits of solar energy usage?
The simplicity of solar technology makes the solar power usage accessible everywhere, even in isolated areas. It is easy to maintain the solar power system, and it doesn’t pollute the area. While the solar power system widely depends on the weather and sun presence, electricity storage battery systems are rapidly developing and improving, leading you to electricity utility independency.
Renewable energy target (RET)
Renewable energy target scheme encourages the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
There are many advantages of renewable energy usage. The prices of electricity are relatively rising, and with renewable energy it is possible to cut the utility bills. It is also possible to sell the excess energy back to the grid.
The renewable energy technologies are developing, and it is high time to make your investment in this sphere and in the future of our planet turning to renewables.