Most of us have heard of wind and solar energy, but did you know that there are many other renewable resources available to us? While wind and solar are the most commonly known examples, they are also available in much smaller quantities. However, they are impractical for individual homes and businesses. Nevertheless, they are becoming increasingly important for the U.S. energy mix, and recent advances in the capture and storage of wind and solar energy are making them more accessible than ever.
Natural resources such as wood and air are considered renewable, because they cycle and come back to their original location. These resources are necessary for all living things, including humans. Other renewable resources are wind and solar energy, because they never end and regenerate in an individual’s lifetime. This means that if you want to continue using these resources in the future, you should use them responsibly. By using them wisely, you’ll be supporting the planet’s resources without compromising the quality of life.
Developing renewable resources involves a process similar to the development of other energy sources, including hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, biomass, and solar. In each case, the development process begins with reconnaissance, exploration, and visual observation. This initial phase is not impactful to the surface use of the land. Once the process begins, the project must evaluate the feasibility and cost of the project. There are two primary issues related to renewables: quality and quantity. The quality of the resource determines its potential for energy production, and the amount of energy input. The latter issue is associated with surface water rights.
As renewable energy sources, solar, wind, and hydropower are rapidly growing. By 2020, renewables will account for nearly 20 percent of the U.S. electricity supply, with wind and solar making up the bulk of the growth. The number of global projects has increased from one percent in 2005 to over 12 percent by 2020. However, demand for electricity has remained relatively stable. The transportation sector has also benefited greatly from the production of renewable fuels.
Another major renewable resource is sunlight. Humans harness the sunlight to produce solar energy. This energy can be used to heat homes and buildings, heat water, and produce electricity. Solar energy has a drawback, though, as the amount of sun varies with the season and the time of day. Because of its inconsistency, this source is not widely used. The amount of sunlight that we can use each day is often insufficient for our needs.
Biomass is another form of renewable resource. This is a general term that encompasses various organic materials produced by plants and animals. In addition to wood, biomass can be processed to create biofuels. In addition to using wood for heat, it can also be used as a substitute for petroleum-based fuels. It can also be turned into biodiesel to create electricity. A combination of these fuels can be used to make hydrogen.
Renewable resources can be used repeatedly. As long as the resource is replenishable, it can be used for different purposes. The main use for renewable resources is energy production. While energy production using nonrenewable resources is relatively cheap and efficient, renewable resources cost a lot more and are not always affordable to the average person. However, more research is needed before renewable resources are widely used. It is crucial to make the use of renewable energy cost-effective.
While the cost of renewable resources may be higher than fossil fuels, the benefits of these sources are substantial. Not only do renewable resources reduce energy bills, but they also save the environment by reducing emissions. Renewable energy sources can help power our homes and businesses. The DOE is working on ways to modernize the electric grid and incorporate them into the future. They also help us make better use of our natural resources while reducing our dependence on oil. And since they are naturally replenishable, they are becoming the energy sources of the future.
Biomass energy sources provide electricity and direct heating. They can be used continuously as biofuels. They can be obtained from wood, waste, landfill gases, and crops. Renewable energy sources have long been used in domestic cooking. They continue to be the dominant fuel source in many developing countries. In fact, bioenergy accounted for 11.6 percent of total energy use worldwide in 2019.