Below is a brief introduction to Renewable Energy and Few Renewable Energy sources.
Sun is our main energy source. Solar power will not end, or in another sense, we will not live to see the end of our sun. Solar energy is one of the most important sources of renewable energy. It sends us unimaginable amount of power everyday hidden in its rays.
According to research data currently available, the Sun radiates 174 Petawatts (Pw) of solar energy every day. Out of this roughly 30% of energy is reflected back to space, and another major share is absorbed by our atmosphere. Even if we get only 10% of this energy which is about 17.4 Pw per day, it is still more than the whole daily energy requirement worldwide.
Wind energy has been converted to other forms of useful energy, especially mechanical form even long time back. Energy stored in Wind is used to turn a windmill and then to used to grind grains and other stuff.
Unlike solar power, wind energy is always present, day and night alike. This is a very important advantage of using wind power. Wind power is comparatively cheap to produce. It takes little space when compared with solar panels. Today Europe, especially Germany is leading the way in Wind energy.
There are number of ways to use the power of wind. The wind mill is the common choice. Nowadays windmills are almost always used to produce electricity.
Just like Wind Power, people from ancient world knew how to use the power of flowing water to do something useful.
like turning a waterwheel and grinding their grains. Hydropower today though is mainly discussed with electricity generation. There are thousands and thousands of dams built around the world to convert energy stored in water flow into electricity.
Unlike, solar or wind, hydropower is more stabilized. Most countries use hydropower in big scale to produce electricity and achieve some other benefits is create like irrigating the lands and controlling floods. Currently micro hydro plants are gaining in popularity. Small hydroelectric plants are used to power up small communities.
You need higher capital investment to build a hydropower plant though. But hydroelectric plants are very much cost effective to operate in long run.
Earth crust is heated and its molten rocks forms lava. This heat is a great energy source. Earth’s heat is available regardless of the place, and it is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. This makes geothermal energy a great reliable renewable energy source.
Obviously, building geothermal power plant will cost more, as it is little complex to build. But it works almost on autopilot. Only little maintenance is needed. This makes the operational costs of the plant low.
Iceland is the leader in geothermal energy. Nearly 18% of their energy comes from geothermal while US has a great potential too.
Biomass is the most commonly used source of renewable energy. Even the ancient man knew how to use wood to cook their food using firewood. But today, biomass energy mainly refers to burning or using materials like wood and different types of seeds to produce electricity.
Biomass has created a separate market by substituting the traditional oil with the biofuel or biodiesel. This energy sector is becoming. Ability to make your own biodiesel in your own backyard is another reason for the resent popularity behind biodiesel.
Tides are a great source of renewable energy. Tides are created due to gravitational pull of earth, moon and sun. This is a complex natural behavior. Rising water levels provides a great opportunity to generate reliable renewable energy.
Unlike other sources, tidal waves can produce large amount of electricity with a high degree of reliability. This makes tidal energy a key competitor in commercial renewable energy sector. Building a tidal renewable energy plant needs large sums of capital. Also the technology is costly and relatively new.
Tidal waves are only one form of ocean energy. There are other ways we can use the vast amount of energy hidden in the oceans.
There are more renewable energy sources emerging. But what listed above are more stable technologies.