The Top 9 Sources of Renewable Energy

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Solar Energy

Courtesy Hope Project
Courtesy Hope Project

Generating electricity from sunlight relies on power from nuclear fusion in the core of the Sun. There are a few ways to harness this energy, including solar water heating with solar collectors and the direct conversion of sunlight to electrical energy using a system of mirrors and photovoltaic cells (or boilers). At the moment the amount of energy that can be harnessed this way is insufficient to fulfil the needs of our modern society alone.

Hydro Electric Power

This method of producing electricity often involves the costly process of lifting water to an elevated level through the use of sunlight, and harnessing the gravitational potential therein using turbines to capture the energy of the water as it flows through.

Radiant Energy

Radiant energy is the energy of electromagnetic waves throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. The shorter the wavelength, the higher it’s frequency and vice versa. A microwave oven uses the concept of radiant energy, which causes water molecules within food to vibrate extremely quickly generating heat.

Geothermal Energy

Courtesy Nortrade
Courtesy Nortrade

This kind of energy is what is left from the creation of the planet. Radioactive decay causes heat to constantly discharge gradually across the Earth. In some areas where the temperature gradient is high enough, it is possible to generate electricity with the use of complex machinery.

Biomass

This is energy that is gathered from plants and is commonly used throughout the world, most notably via the burning of trees for cooking and warmth. This releases toxic amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and is a major contributor to air pollution. More recently renewable forms biomass energy have been trialled, including methane generation and the production of alcohol for fuel.

Nuclear Power

Each atom contains a nucleus, which is composed of a proton (which carries a positive charge) and a neutron (which is neutral). This nucleus releases nuclear energy, and during a nuclear reaction the amount of energy produced is vast. There are many people opposed to nuclear energy, but the benefits of it are great. It is a powerful and efficient source of energy, that releases fewer greenhouse gases than fossil fuels. It is reliable, unlike solar and wind which are affected by changes in the weather. The cost of setting up a nuclear power plant is relatively low when compared with the other renewable options that we have discussed here.

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