What is renewable energy exactly? The world was shocked at what happened to the nuclear power plant in Fukushima Daiichi after the great eastern quake that was followed by a tsunami had hardly hit Japan. Everyone was waiting to understand the extent of the global effects of that terrifying disaster. At one end, it has raised global awareness and realizations on the question about alternative energy. For quite some time now, we heard that the earth’s supply of fossil fuels is already depleting, not to mention their effects to global warming with their production of greenhouse gasses.
Renewable energy is the energy that comes from natural sources such as the sunlight, wind, agricultural residue, firewood, tides, rain, plant growth, heat generated from deep within the earth and even disposed waste. Solar energy is energy generated from the sun. Hydroelectricity is energy generated from water. Ocean thermal is energy from waves and tidal waves. Geothermal energy is energy from magma, hot, dry rocks, natural geysers and water springs. Biomass becomes a source of energy when it is burnt. Biomass is animal dung, biodegradable wastes from the cities, firewood and crop residue. These sources are all renewable, meaning they naturally occur and replenished constantly. They can neither be depleted nor exhausted. They are available locally and they cause fewer emissions. The usage of these energy reduces chemical, radioactive and thermal pollution. Sixteen percent of the world’s energy consumption comes from renewable. It practically replaces conventional fuels in distinct areas such as electricity generation, hot water/space heating, motor fuels and rural energy services.
The question on what is renewable energy also raised concerns about climate change. Apart from that concern are the on the on-going, ever increasing oil prices and peak oil. Government support from various countries across the globe has been driving the increasing of renewable energy legislations, grants, incentives and its commercialization. They are looking into this in order to lessen our dependence on oil and other various polluting fossil fuels. The International Energy Agency with its 2011 projection includes that within the next fifty years, solar power generators will produce most of the world’s electricity. This will dramatically reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that harm our environment.
Because of its sustainability, its sources can be relied upon for many years to come. We will enjoy more cost effective and efficient power. Renewable energy is also known as green energy. These environment friendly energy sources are basically none polluting compared to fossil fuels such as oil, since they neither emit toxic waste nor produce greenhouse gases.
Looking forward, we will hear more and more about what is renewable energy. Solutions to the problems on the ever increasing power bills and global change awareness will pave the way for us to make small yet sure steps for our community to become energy efficient.