Renewable Energy

What is Renewable Energy?  Renewable Energy Sources take energy from on-going natural processes at a rate that is no more than the rate at which the energy is replaced by the natural process.  Renewable Energy Sources are a sustainable source of energy.

Wind Power and Solar Power are forms of renewable energy that may be available to power individual households.

Sources of Renewable Energy  Ultimately, Renewable Energy Sources are powered directly or indirectly by either the energy given out by the Sun or the energy produced by the force of Gravity.  Energy provided by the Sun, Solar Energy, may be used directly through Solar Cell, but is also used indirectly because it powers Wind Power and Biomass energy.  Energy sources powered by Gravity include Tidal Power and Geothermal EnergyHydropower and Wave Power are driven by both Solar Energy and Gravity.

Wind Power - winds are created by the sun heating the atmosphere.  Windmills have been used for generations to make use of the power of the wind.  Wind Turbines are forms of windmill that use Wind Power to produce Electricity.  Wind Farms are groups of Wind Turbines generating electricity on an industrial scale.

Solar Power - Solar Energy may be used for heating, by concentrating the energy heat water using Rooftop Solar Panels or to power Solar Ovens,  or it may be used to create electricity by using Photoelectric Power Cells.

Biomass Energy - Plants use Solar Energy to fuel the photosynthesis process that allows the plants to grow - using water and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and creating sugars - complex hydrocarbons.  Plant matter may then be burned to release the stored energy - and a number of pollutants if not properly controlled.

Hydropower - Solar Energy fuels the "rain cycle".  Water is evaporated from the oceans and forests and falls as rain.  Gravity provides the rain with potential energy as it seeks the lowest level.  Water Mills have been used for generations to extract energy from rivers and streams.  Modern Hydroelectric Power Stations create electricity on an industrial scale.

Tidal Power and Wave Power - the tides are fuelled by gravity - mainly the gravitational pull of the moon on the earth - that and climate energy fuelled by the sun produce waves.  Both tides and waves provide means of driving electricity generators.

Geothermal Energy - The Earth's core is hot.  This is caused by the gravitational forces that created the Earth.  In places around the world, some of the Earth's heat "leaks out" and may be used to provide heating or generate electricity - possibly with the aid of Heat Exchangers that can use small differences in temperature.

Other Energy Sources

Fossil Fuels - Coal, Oil, Natural Gas and Peat - are technically renewable energy sources, but are only renewed over millions of years.  They are what remains from plants that originally used Solar Energy to fuel photosynthesis. They are not sustainable sources of energy at their current rate of use.  When Fossil Fuels burn, they produce carbon dioxide - a major greenhouse gas - as well as numerous other air pollutants.  The use of Fossil Fuels, is not only unsustainable, but also the major human contributor to Global Warming through the production of green house gasses.

Nuclear Energy  Essentially energy from the original creation of the Planet - the same energy source that powers the Sun.  Nuclear Energy is "clean" in that it does not contribute to Air Pollution.  However, the radioactive waste and by-products will always be a cause for concern.  If used on a large enough scale, Nuclear Energy could contribute to Global Warming through releasing the potential energy stored in nuclear fuels.


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Renewable energy

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