There is a great need for a more environmentally friendly way to power our homes and businesses. Traditional sources of renewable energy include wind, water, and animal power. Windmills and firewood are also forms of renewable energy. These sources of energy have been used for centuries, but are not necessarily environmentally friendly. This is because they are not replenished as quickly as fossil fuels are used by humans. So sooner or later, we will run out of them.
The transition to a sustainable energy system is not a simple one. Several factors need to be considered, including location and climate. Renewable energy sources must be distributed correctly to be effective. Wind, for example, produces electricity through changes in air temperature. Wind farms perform best in the Midwest, Texas, and offshore regions. But wind power is not always available in these regions. If you are in the Midwest, consider setting up a wind farm in that region.
Another form of renewable energy is geothermal energy. This is created by the decaying of radioactive particles deep within the Earth. Geothermal energy is used for direct heat as well as electricity generation. Hydropower is another form of renewable energy, but it requires vast amounts of water and a tremendous amount of force. In fact, hydropower was the largest source of renewable electricity until just recently. In contrast, solar energy requires a large surface area and consistent sunlight to be effective. The salton sea geothermal plant in California is also a large hydroelectric power plant, with a total capacity of 340MW.
Wind power accounts for approximately six percent of the nation’s total generation, and it is also the cheapest source of energy in some parts of the country. Unlike conventional energy sources, wind power is not environmentally damaging, but its turbines can be a blight on a city skyline. Wind energy is also known as offshore wind power. In the UK, there are four offshore wind farms: Gunfleet Sands, Thanet, and London Array. Increasingly powerful wind turbines are being tested and installed.
Large scale renewable energy technologies require permits, much like other large industrial facilities, and face permitting hurdles until officials learn about their environmental effects. In addition, many renewable resources are in remote areas and lack effective transmission. In addition, some states lack clear utility regulations and thus slow down the development of utility-scale renewable projects. These factors contribute to the cost of renewable energy. But the potential of renewable energy is enormous. With the proper policies, renewable energy projects can be developed to meet rising energy demand.
Governments are recognizing the economic benefits of renewable energy. Several states have enacted legislation that encourages energy companies to install renewable energy projects. In addition to providing a lower rate for electricity, the federal government has also passed the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). EPA has hosted numerous State Webinars to educate state governments about RPS. And the Renewable Fuel Standard has also been enacted into law. By 2022, renewable fuel volumes will be increased to 36 billion gallons, equivalent to seven percent of the nation’s annual consumption of gasoline.
The future of renewable energy seems bright with the overwhelming support of Americans. However, the new EPA chief will need to find a way to overcome the shadow cast by Scott Pruitt. Regardless of his or her politics, renewable energy is a bipartisan issue in the U.S. The Republicans are primarily interested in the economic benefits of renewable energy, while the Democrats are more concerned with climate change. It is up to the new administration and legislature to craft comprehensive strategies to make renewable energy a mainstream source of energy.
Solar energy resources are immense. They can be harnessed anywhere there is sunlight (also known as insolation). The amount of solar energy available depends on geographic location, time of day, and weather conditions. Solar photovoltaics are already the fastest-growing source of electricity and will reach 760 GW by 2020. The European Union recently adopted a 20 percent renewable energy target for 2020. As of 2016, 17 percent of EU energy is produced through renewable resources.
The time required to replenish a primary energy resource is an important consideration when identifying the best source for your home. Alternative energy sources such as wind power and biomass are a good choice because they have the lowest pollution levels. However, the trade-offs with renewable energy are high, especially if large hydroelectric dams are proposed, which can lead to unintended consequences for wildlife or climate change. However, it is important to remember that renewable energy sources are a way to save money and help the environment.