Renewable energy resources have gained significant attention in recent years due to the growing concerns over climate change and the finite nature of fossil fuels. These energy resources are obtained from naturally replenishing sources and can be used repeatedly without causing harm to the environment.
The most common types of renewable energy resources include solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and biomass energy. Each type of energy resource has its unique advantages and limitations, and its application is dependent on various factors such as geography, weather conditions, and available technology.
In this article, we will explore the different types of renewable energy resources and their potential role in achieving a sustainable future.
What Are Renewable Energy Resources?
Renewable Energy Resources are the source of energy that is continuously regenerated by nature the sun, the wind, water, the Earth’s heat, and plants. Renewable energy technologies convert this energy into usable forms of energy most often electricity, but also heat, chemicals, or mechanical power.
There are different types of renewable energy resources – Hydropower Energy, Bio-energy, Geothermal Energy, Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Hydrogen, and Ocean Energy.
Why Use Renewable Energy Resources?
Today we mainly utilize fossil fuels to heat and power our homes and fuel our cars. These energy sources are conventional and easily available to use coal, oil, and natural gas for meeting our energy needs, but we have a limited supply of these fuels on Earth.
The world using this energy much more rapidly than they are being created. Subsequently, their source will run out in the future. And considering state safety concerns and waste disposal problems, the United States will retire much of its nuclear capacity by 2025.
In the meantime, world energy needs are expected to grow by 33 percent during the next 20 years. Renewable energy is a natural source that can help fill the gap. But the fact is that even if we had an unlimited supply of fossil fuels, using renewable energy resources is better for the environment.
We often consider renewable energy sources as “clean” or “green” because they produce few if any pollutants. Conventional fossil fuel burning, leads to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, trapping the sun’s heat and contributing to global warming.
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Types of Renewable Energy Resources
The Following are types of renewable energy resources,
- Hydropower Energy
- Geothermal Energy
- Solar Energy
- Wind Energy
- Ocean Energy
Hydropower is our most important and abundantly available renewable power, producing about 10 percent of the nation’s electricity.
The United States has an existing hydropower capacity is about 103,000 megawatts (MW). Hydropower plant converts the energy of running water into electrical energy by using a turbine generator.
The most common way of generating hydroelectricity is by constructing a dam on a river to retain a large reservoir of water. This stored water is released from the dam through turbine generators.
Hydropower plants’ energy production does not have any harmful gas emissions but can affect water quality and wildlife habitats.
Therefore, hydropower plants are now optimized and designed to operate to minimize impacts on the river.
Efforts are done to mimic the natural flow of the river, but while producing convenient conditions for the wildlife’s river habitat; it also reduces the power plant’s output.
To help the process of fish migration a fish ladder and other approaches, such as improved turbines, are being used to lower the number of fish killed.
Bio-energy is the energy derived from biomass (organic matter), such as plants. If you’ve ever burned wood in a fireplace or campfire, you’ve used bioenergy.
But fact is that we don’t get all of our biomass resources directly from trees or other plants. Many industries which are involved in the construction or the processing of agricultural products, can create large quantities of unused or residual biomass, which can serve as a bio-energy source.
After hydropower, biomass is the world’s second-leading resource of renewable energy, accounting for more than 7,000 MW of installed capacity. Some of the power generating companies found that coal power plants have found that replacing coal with biomass is a low-cost option to reduce undesirable emissions. It is around 15 percent of the coal may be replaced with biomass. Biomass has less sulfur than coal.
Additionally, utilizing biomass in boilers can reduce nitrous oxide emissions. Gasification is another process in which the conversion of biomass converted into gas, which is burned in a gas turbine is another way to generate electricity.
Biomass composting in landfills generates methane, which can be burned in a boiler to produce steam for electricity generation or industrial processes.
A type of fuel oil can be produced by heating the biomass in the absence of oxygen to chemically convert it into fuel oil, called Pyrolysis oil.
Pyrolysis oil can be used for power generation and as a feedstock or fuel and chemical production.
Biomass can be used to produce liquid fuel, called biofuels. This biofuel is easy in transport and possesses high energy density; they are favored to fuel vehicles and sometimes stationary power generation.
The most used biofuel is ethanol, an alcohol made from the fermentation of biomass high in carbohydrates. The current largest source of ethanol is corn. Some of the world’s cities use ethanol as a gasoline additive to help meet air quality standards for ozone.
Flex-fuel vehicles are also now on the market, which can use a mixture of gasoline and ethanol, such as E85 a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
Another biofuel is biodiesel, which can be made from vegetable and animal fats. Biodiesel has the capability to be used as fuel for a vehicle or as a fuel additive to reduce emissions. It is estimated that corn ethanol and biodiesel provide about 0.4 percent of the total liquid fuels market.
For increasing the availability of biofuel, researchers are testing crop residues such as cornstalk, food waste leave wood chips, grass, and even trash as potential biofuel sources.
iii) Bio-based Products
Natural agriculture products such as corn, wheat, soybeans, wood, and residues can also be used to produce chemicals and materials that we normally obtain from petroleum. Some of the manufacturers started to use cornstarch to produce commodity plastics, such as shrink-wrap, plastic eating utensils, and even car bumpers.
Commercial production of biomass is underway to make thermoset plastics, like electrical switch plate covers, from wood residues.
3. Geothermal Energy
The Earth’s central core is about 4000 miles below and it can reach temperatures of 9000°F. These heat energies flow outward from the core, which can e the surrounding area, which can form underground reservoirs of hot water and steam.
These reservoirs can be used for various purposes, such as to generate electricity or heat buildings. We can take advantage of the shallow ground’s stable temperature by using geothermal heat pumps (GHPs), for heating and cooling buildings.
This energy is available in the uppermost 6 miles of the Earth’s crust and amounts to 50,000 times the energy of all oil and gas resources in the world. In USA geothermal reservoirs are located in the western states, of Alaska, and Hawaii. GHPs, however, can be used almost anywhere.
Geothermal Electricity Production
Geothermal power plants use underground steam or water from wells drilled a mile or more into the earth. The steam or hot water is lifted from the well to drive a conventional steam turbine, which powers an electric generator.
Typically, utilized water is then returned to the ground to recharge the reservoir and complete the renewable energy resources cycle.
The geothermal power plants had three types: dry steam, flash steam, and binary cycle. Dry steam plants utilize the steam, while both flash steam and binary cycle plants draw from reservoirs of hot water.
The United state all geothermal power plants are in California, Nevada, Utah, and Hawaii having about 2800 MW of geothermal electric capacity is produced annually in this country.
Geothermal Direct Use
If you have ever jumped into a natural hot spring, you’re one of the millions of people around the world who have enjoyed the direct use of geothermal energy.
For direct use application of energy, geothermal temperatures are between about 70° to 302°F lower than those required for electricity generation.
The United States has about 1,300 geothermal direct-use systems in operation. In a system of direct-to-use a well is drilled into a geothermal reservoir, which provides a steady stream of hot water. Some systems use the water directly, but most pump the water through what’s called a heat exchanger.
The heat exchanger keeps the water separate from a working fluid (usually water or a mixture of water and antifreeze), which is heated by geothermal water. The working fluid then flows through piping, distributing the heat directly for its intended use.
The heated water or fluid can be used in a building to replace the traditional heat source often natural gas of a boiler, furnace, or hot water heater. Some cities in the United States have large direct-use heating systems called district heating that provides many buildings with heat.
Direct use of geothermal energy can be used in agriculture such as for fish farms and to heat greenhouses and for industrial food processing (vegetable dehydration).
4. Solar Energy
Solar energy is the infinite power of the sun and uses that energy to produce heat, light, and power. People have used the sun to heat and light their homes for centuries as Passive Solar Lighting and Heating.
Ancient Americans construct their house’s cliff walls directly into the south-facing because they knew the sun travels low across the southern sky in the Northern Hemisphere during the winter. They also understand the fact that the massive rock of the cliff would absorb heat in winter and protect against wind and snow.
Solar Water Heating
Solar energy is capable to heat water for your home or your swimming pool. Most solar energy water systems consist of a solar collector and a water storage tank. The solar heating system of house use collectors, generally mounted on a south-facing roof, to heat either water or a heat-transfer fluid, such as nontoxic antifreeze.
Water heated by solar heat is then stored in a water tank similar to the one used in a conventional gas or electric water heating system.
By using photovoltaic (PV) technology we can convert sunlight directly into electricity. Solar power is the major source of energy for space vehicles since the inception of the space program.
It has been also utilized to power small electronics and rural and agricultural applications for three decades.
During the past decade, solar energy has emerged for powering urban grid-connected homes and buildings as a result of advances in solar technology along with global changes in the electric industry restructuring.
Nowadays, various types of solar electric systems are available today, they all consist of basically three main items: modules that convert sunlight into electricity; inverters that convert that electricity into AC Current so it can be used by most household appliances; and possibly or sometimes batteries that store excess electricity produced by the system.
5. Wind Energy
For hundreds of years, people have used windmills to harness the wind’s energy. Nowadays wind turbine technologies are much more efficient technology.
The wind turbine working principle is too simple in that the wind spins turbine blades around a central hub; the hub is connected to a shaft, which powers a generator to make electricity.
However, turbines of wind power generation have complicated design power systems that capture the wind’s energy by means of new blade designs or airfoils.
Wind turbines that provide electricity to the utility grid range in size from 50 kW to or 2 MW. Big wind energy system projects can have hundreds of turbines spread over many acres of land.
The small capacity wind turbines of 50 kW power are used to charge batteries, electrify homes, pump water for farms and ranches, and power remote telecommunications equipment.
Wind power turbine systems can also be used in the shallow water near a coastline if open land is limited, such as in Europe, and/or to take advantage of strong, offshore winds.
Wind power generation system has been the fastest-growing source of energy in the world since 1990, increasing at an average rate of over 25 percent per year. It’s a trend driven largely by dramatic improvements in wind technology.
According to the National Renewable Energy Department of the United States has the potential for 10,459 GW of onshore wind power.
The Unites state can generate 37 petawatt-hours (PW·h) annually, an amount nine times larger than current total U.S. electricity consumption.
The largest number of installed turbines is in California in the United States. Others are being installed across the Great Plains, reaching from Montana east to Minnesota and south through Texas, to take advantage of its vast wind resource.
Hydrogen is can produce high energy as it only produces water as an emission. Hydrogen is available in abundant amounts and also it’s simplest.
An atom of hydrogen consists of only one proton and one electron. But as it is available in abundance and simplicity, it doesn’t occur naturally as a gas on Earth.
Nowadays industries are producing more than 4 trillion cubic feet of hydrogen annually. Mainly the hydrogen is produced through a process called reforming, which involves the application of heat to separate hydrogen from carbon.
The researcher laboratories are developing highly efficient, advanced reformers to produce hydrogen from natural gas for what’s called Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cells.
Hydrogen energy allows you can think of fuel cells as batteries that never lose their charge. Recently developed hydrogen cells offer tremendous potential to produce electrical power for distributed energy systems and vehicles.
There is a large possibility that hydrogen energy could join electricity as an important “energy carrier”: storing, moving, and delivering energy in a usable form to consumers.
Renewable energy resources, like sunlight, can’t produce energy at any time. But the hydrogen energy produced energy until it’s needed.
Eventually, laboratories are concentrating on producing hydrogen from water using solar, wind, and biomass and biological technologies.
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7. Ocean Energy
Ocean energy is one of the important renewable Energy resources. The ocean is capable of producing two types of energy thermal energy from the sun’s heat and mechanical energy from the tides and waves.
Oceans’ thermal energy can be utilized for many applications, including electricity generation. Electricity generators use either warm surface water or boil the seawater to turn a turbine, which activates a generator.
The electricity generation by use of both tidal and wave energy usually involves mechanical devices. Adam’s system is generally used to convert tidal energy into electricity by forcing the water through turbines and activating a generator.
Wave energy is used to produce mechanical power to directly activate a generator or to transfer to a working fluid, water, or air, which then drives a turbine/generator.
The majority of oven energy research and development has been happening in the European regions.
Renewable Energy by Country Ranking 2021
What is epoxy flooring?
Epoxy flooring is a type of flooring made from a two-part epoxy resin that is applied to a prepared surface. It is known for its durability, resistance to chemicals and stains, and easy maintenance.
What are the applications of epoxy flooring?
Epoxy flooring is used in a wide range of applications, including industrial and commercial facilities, garages, hospitals, laboratories, kitchens, and residential homes.
How is epoxy flooring installed?
Epoxy flooring is typically installed by first preparing the surface, then applying a primer and base coat of epoxy, followed by one or more layers of topcoat. The process can vary depending on the type of epoxy flooring being installed and the condition of the substrate.
What is the maintenance required for epoxy flooring?
Epoxy flooring requires minimal maintenance. It should be cleaned regularly with a mild detergent and warm water, and any spills should be cleaned up immediately to prevent staining.
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