Today’s technology relies heavily on energy. Human labor has been almost completely replaced with machinery, and the demand for energy resources scales up as time goes by. People have utilized non-renewable resources to power up engines and perform tasks, but researchers say that it will only take a few years until these resources are depleted.
Thus, scientists have invented devices that can harness energy from renewable resources, to avoid further damage to the environment. They’ve already identified the best forms of renewable energy and are confident that these will be the key players in the informational evolution.
How it all started
Renewable resources are resources which aren’t immediately depleted, and can be replaced naturally. They’re reusable and easier to gather because some of their forms can be seen everywhere.
The appreciation of renewable energy started more than 2,000 years ago when the Chinese burned coal for heating and cooking. But since coal created a great threat to the trees, people invented waterwheels to produce water energy for their mills.
The Dutch also invented windmills to gather the kinetic energy of the wind. Now, people have succeeded in collecting renewable energy from different resources.
The best forms of renewable energy are:
People invented solar panels to gather energy from the sun. The radiation coming from the sun can be converted into electricity.
- Available anywhere – People around the globe can have solar energy. The amount of energy is increased for places near the equator.
- Power up homes – In certain places, people can buy solar panels to lower their electricity bills. Some roofs are overlaid with panels that power up lights inside the house.
- Environment-friendly – There’s no direct harm done to the environment when people use solar panels. No ecosystems are damaged.
- Expensive – Buying solar panels that can fulfill your home’s electricity needs means buying a lot of panels. The cost depends on where you are, but it’s often costly.
- Occupies a lot of space – Solar panels do not come the size of an index card. If you want to gather a stable amount of energy, you’ll need to buy those chalkboard-sized panels.
- Intermittent – Although it’s true that solar energy is everywhere, you can only use solar panels when the sun is shining brightly.
People use gigantic windmills and turbines to collect energy from wind. The rotations of the turbine is converted to electric energy.
- Clean – Wind turbines do not cause wind pollution. They just benefit from the wind passing through them.
- Inexhaustible – Since wind is a common phenomenon, it exists whether it’s day or night.
- Rural-friendly – Wind energy is favorable for farms and ranches. The vast land and the strong breezes offer an opportunity for effective wind energy.
- Accidents – It’s not intentional but sometimes birds are hit by the fans of the turbine. Because of its speed, it delivers critical hits that a bird’s body can’t handle.
- Visual impact – The aesthetic value of vast landscapes is reduced due to the high visibility of wind turbines.
- Prone to storm damage – Extreme storms can damage the structure of wind turbines. They can also be struck by lightning, which can lower their efficiency.
The big waves found in the sea and ocean offer water energy. Waterfalls and rivers are also a good producer of hydropower. People use water turbines and dams to gather and store this energy.
- Safe – Harnessing hydropower doesn’t pollute the water. There’s no fuel involved and it doesn’t produce greenhouse gases.
- Cost effective – Dams that are built on rivers have low energy costs and benefit from the rivers’ immeasurable content. The lakes created behind them also offer recreational opportunities like fishing and boating.
- Quality waters – Dam created lakes give better quality of water that can be used to irrigate farms. They can also be a habitat for marine life.
- Flooding – Dams can be a great threat to a nearby community. If a dam breaks, it can cause flooding and erosion that can destroy towns and ecosystems.
- Carbon dioxide emission – Large reservoirs release carbon dioxide and can cause the decomposition of trees around it. Lack of trees can be a cause of landslides, which destroy properties and habitats.