The President of the United States, Barack Obama, promotes the development of a “green economy”, which includes a variety of renewable energy projects that would be a benefit to the environment. Part of his plan for economic recovery includes jobs creation for renewable energy projects. This philosophy has been embraced by world politicians, scientists, and businesses. Each group is working together to create technologies that would provide cost-efficient renewable energy resources and methods.
Over time, the costs associated with renewable energy is expected to decline. Fossil fuels, on the other hand, are non-renewable energy sources that continue to increase in price as the demand for these fuels continues to rise. Continue reading to learn about five renewable energy resources that may help meet the energy needs around the world.
Solar power is probably the most well-known renewable energy source. The sun’s energy is captured in an assortment of specialized materials, such as silicon, and is converted into electricity. One of the major drawbacks to this renewable energy resource is the cost associated with solar cell production. However, as new technologies and high-efficiency solar cells are developed, the costs are becoming more affordable. High-efficiency solar cells can be hard to locate. However, new materials used in solar cell production is making it easier to transport and install solar cells. Residential flexible solar cells and solar arrays are becoming popular solar energy choices. One of the main drawbacks to this type of green energy is that the solar panels can only generate power during the day. Additionally, cloudy conditions or pollution can hamper the effectiveness of solar energy. Finally, the power must be stored to ensure maximum usage. According to RWE UK jobs the UK has a 15% overall renewable energy target.
Environmentally, solar arrays take up a large amount of space, which is why researchers are looking at deserts; however, these arrays can still impact the ecological system. Power companies are looking at renting rooftops from business owners and homeowners and installing solar panels. This would allow companies to generate renewable energy, decrease the customer’s costs of a solar energy system and homeowners would not need to pay for installation of a solar power system. Another option would be warehouse locations in larger metro areas. These projects would help overcome the cost of installation while lowering the environmental impact of solar power installations.
One of the fastest growing renewable energy resources is wind power. This type of renewable energy harnesses the power of the wind to turn large turbines which generate energy. The building and maintenance of wind turbines would provide jobs for thousands of people and offer a cheap and clean options for electricity. Wind farms, unfortunately, are not very popular. Wind turbines cause noise pollution and can impact the local wildlife and environment. People often feel that wind turbines obstruct scenic views and are against the installation of wind turbines.
However, wind turbines can be constructed in a variety of sizes. Additionally, wind turbines can be used for single residential use or on a larger scale. The most common areas for wind power is in places with plenty of wind and large open spaces. Technological advances are making wind turbines less intrusive and more efficient. Many think there is still a lot to be done before wind power is an option.
Geothermal energy extracts energy from the earth. Below the Earth’s surface is a lot of heat. Scientists are extracting this heat and using it to make power. Ancient Romans used geothermal heating. Today, the Earth’s geothermal heat is being used to generate electricity. This goes beyond just heating. Although geothermal power production does not cause greenhouse gas, some harmful gases from under the Earth’s surface is released and must be contained. Geothermal energy is reliable; however, it is only used in areas where tectonic activity occurs.
Geothermal extraction requires drilling into the Earth’s surface. Exploring this power option is quite expensive. The costs of building a geothermal manufacturing facility are quite expensive. Drilling and piping, along with other associated costs, is necessary. One benefit of geothermal extraction takes up less surface area than coal or oil power plants. Another benefit is that a geothermal plant does not require any fuel. Once a geothermal manufacturing facility is established, the costs are minimal, which makes up for the initial costs associated with geothermal plants.
Research is continuing to come up with a feasible and affordable renewable energy resource. The three listed above all have the potential to decrease our dependant on non-renewable energy resources.