Renewable energy is any energy source that is naturally renewed and never runs out. Some examples of renewable energy include air, water, and sunlight. In many cases, renewable energy provides a safe, eco-friendly way to generate power. And today, advancements in technology have also made it more affordable, especially when it comes to solar and wind power. Discover more about the future of energy by exploring some of the most common renewable sources below.
The ocean offers two types of energy sources: mechanical energy from waves and tides, and thermal energy from the combination of the water and the sun’s heat. Wind-driven tides and waves from the ocean create mechanical energy. This energy can be converted into electricity that powers homes and other buildings. On the other hand, systems that rely on warm water are used to convert the ocean’s thermal energy into useable electricity. Although converting “ocean energy” into useable power is in its infancy, it has a bright future as a renewable energy source.
If you were to ask, “What is renewable energy?” solar energy would likely be the first answer you’d encounter. Solar energy is perhaps the most popular and well-known sustainable energy source. With solar energy, power generation comes from capturing sunlight using photovoltaic (PV) panels that contain special cells. The PV or solar panels help convert sunlight into electricity. Solar panels have been powering homes and commercial buildings for decades, and advancements in technology have only made it more accessible, affordable, efficient, sustainable, and popular.
Hydro (Water) Energy
Hydropower, or energy from water, is perhaps the oldest form of renewable energy. In fact, old waterwheels date back millennia and can be found as displays in museums and at historical sites. Although these wheels were once useful, today, hydropower or hydroelectricity is harnessed in a much more sophisticated manner. Kinetic energy from rivers is mostly converted into hydroelectricity using a method called “pumped-storage hydropower.” In this method, the water is captured by a dam system and stored in a reservoir. When the water is released from the reservoir, it swirls through large turbines and produces hydroelectricity. Hydroelectricity can also be created using the “run-of-river hydropower” method, in which the water is funneled through a channel instead of a dam.
If you’ve got questions about solar and are ready to learn more about this awesome source of renewable energy, contact us.