Alternative Energy Sources >> What is Renewable Energy

What is Renewable Energy?

What is Renewable Energy? 

The regular energy sources available to man are slowly diminishing. For this reason, alternative resources are being utilized to ensure a constant supply of energy for future needs of people. These alternatives are mostly renewable forms of energy

Renewable energy simply means that it comes from resources which can easily be replenished by natural resources such as water, wind, the earth and the sun. It is also referred to as clean energy and green power as it doesn’t cause air or water pollution unlike the non-renewable energy forms such as oil, coal and natural gas. 

A major use of this alternative energy is in generating electricity. Specifically, it produces electricity that is not only clean but affordable as well. The only downside is the high cost involved in constructing structures to produce power through the use renewable energy and most consumers are not willing to pay more in their utility bills. 

Major Benefits of Renewable Energy

Using renewable energy provides a number of benefits. 

  • Being a sustainable resource, renewables are not seen to deplete in the future. 

  • Renewable energy helps lower emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide. 

  • It lessens the dependence of a certain country on foreign oil sources hence, reduced imports of fossil fuels and deficit. 

  • It helps improve the quality of air and visibility as a result of decreased burning of fossil fuels. 

  • Being environment friendly means reduced cost of complying with future environmental regulation. 

  • Limits the harsh impact of rising and fluctuating prices of natural gas. 

Status worldwide

Renewable energy is now big business, according to the “Renewables 2005: Global Status Report.” Authored by Eric Martinot of the Worldwatch Institute and presented during the Beijing International Renewable Energy Conference in 2005, the report cited that solar energy is the fastest growing renewable energy with a yearly growth in capacity of 60 percent from 2000 to 2004. Second in line is wind power with Germany as the top user. 

The report also noted that some of the world’s biggest companies such as General Electric, Sharp and Siemens are now utilizing renewable energy. In fact, worldwide investment in this form of energy set a new record in 2004 of $30 billion. 

Today, approximately 160 gigawatts of electricity or four percent of the world’s total is generated through the use of wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and small hydro. Developing countries account for 44 percent of this power generating capacity. 

Additionally, some 48 countries including 14 developing nations are now actively promoting the use of renewable energy mostly in power generation. Every year, about US$500 million in aid is provided to developing nations for their renewable energy projects, training and market support. In Asia, countries supporting rural electrification projects via renewable energy include Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. 

In 2004, Brazil was the market leader in biofuels, China in solar hot water, Germany in solar electricity and Spain in wind energy. Meanwhile, more than 4.5 million consumers in Europe, the U.S., Canada, Australia and Japan purchased renewable electricity at the retail level. For biofuels alone, the production of ethanol and biodiesel surpassed 33 billion liters. 

Alternative Energy Articles




Alternative Energy Sources

Solar Energy

Solar EnergyThis energy source is used in furnaces for homes and for heating swimming pools. Its major applications are in power plants, space ships and in running cars. 

Solar Energy Information

Wind Energy

Wind EnergyOne of the cleanest sources of energy, it is dependent on the weather and location, wind energy is very helpful in a lot of ways specifically in generating electricity through the use of windmills.

Wind Energy Information

Hydroelectric Energy

Hydroelectric EnergyHydroelectric energy utilizes the potential energy existing in the water and helps in generating cheaper electricity

Hydroelectric Energy Information

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal EnergyGeothermal Energy comes from the earth’s core where temperatures are high and constant all year round. This is ideally used in home heating systems

Geothermal Energy Information

Alternative Energy Articles