Renewable energy is the energy from the terrestrial energy flow in the ongoing natural processes. These sources include solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, hydraulic energy, biomass energy, and hydrogen energy.
In general, the renewable energy source defined as being equal to the energy taken from the energy source or renewing itself more quickly than the exhaustion rate of the source. For example, we use the sun for generating solar energy, but the energy consumed remains very small when we compare to the total solar energy. The most common form of renewable energy comes from the sun, and we call it solar energy.
It is not possible to consume renewable energy permanently by plants, animals, and people. Fossil fuels are theoretically renewable, considering a very long timesheet, and they are exposed to extinction in the future due to misuse.
What is Green Power?
Green power is a subbranch of renewable energy. It represents renewable energy technologies and sources which supply the highest ecological benefits. According to the EPA, green power is the energy produced from solar, wind, biomass, biogas, and hydroelectric sources. Clients tend to buy green power because not only it has a zero-emission profile, but also carbon-footprint reduction benefits.
What is Conventional Power?
Conventional power includes the flaming of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) and the nuclear fission of uranium. Fossil fuels have environmental harms from mining, drilling, or extraction, and release greenhouse gases and air pollution during flaming. Although nuclear power generation emits no greenhouse gases during power production, it does require mining and long-term radioactive waste storage.
What are Renewable Energy Sources?
Solar energy is the result of the transformation of the sun’s rays into the energy through solar panels. Solar power, which is one of the natural energy sources, can be obtained without any harm to the environment. This type of energy, which was much more expensive at first, is now rapidly becoming more popular thanks to more affordable costs.
We obtain wind power by the pressure created by the changes in the sun’s rays. It happens due to the differences in the direction of the world and the winds caused by the rotation of the earth. Wind energy generated by wind turbines installed in places with strong wind is among renewable energy sources. Thanks to the technological developments, the predictability of the wind helps us to use wind energy more effectively.
Hydroelectric energy obtains energy by using the flow power of water. It is a kind of energy that has no harm to the world due to the lack of greenhouse gas emissions. We produce the hydroelectric energy by transmitting the kinetic energy generated by the flow of water to the turbines through channels. Especially in places where the height and the water flow rate is high, the production of hydroelectric power will be of great advantage.
Geothermal energy is the type of energy obtained directly or indirectly in geothermal sources. This type of energy, which serves different purposes such as heating, cooling, electricity generation, and mineral production, also helps the tourism sector with the help of hot springs.
Biomass derives from wood and forestry residues, agricultural and agricultural-produced plants, industrial or municipal waste products. Biomass energy uses these materials to transfer into renewable heat and electricity, which are sizeable biological matters derived from plants. Biomass energy occurs when the biomass waste is burned or undergoing different processes.
Hydrogen energy is the energy source formed by the processing and conversion of hydrogen gas in nature as compounds. Although it is not a natural energy source, it is among the renewable and alternative energy sources.
Wave energy is the kind of energy obtained by the fluctuation movement in the seas and the pressure created by the waves. Wave energy is provided with the help of wave generators to produce natural and sustainable energy.
Apart from these, tidal energy can be seen among renewable energy sources even though it does not produce enough power yet. Tidal energy converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.
What are the Environmental Impacts of Renewable Energy Resources?
Impacts of Solar Energy
The use of solar energy does not release any harmful gas into the atmosphere. There is only a negligible amount of detrimental effect during the installation phase. In the case of battery-powered solar systems, the liquid in the batteries is unlikely to interfere with the water.
There are packaging wastes only during the installation phase, but no waste is involved. Solar energy plantations may cause image pollution as they need a vast area. Solar plants can limit the habitat of animals living in a natural environment because they occupy a lot of space. These are the environmental impacts of solar energy among renewable energy sources.
Impacts of Wind Energy
Since wind energy does not emit any harmful gas, it does not affect the atmosphere. Wind energy, in renewable energy sources, does not affect water pollution.
The wind farms do not have any waste. Therefore, there is no environmental impact on waste. Because wind turbines are enormous, they cause visual pollution. They work very loud; they create noise pollution. Wind turbines draw birds to itself due to the airflow they create. Birds do not get rid of this airflow to the turbines hit and die.
Impacts of Geothermal Energy
Because of the presence of some gases in its structure, it releases harmful gases such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide to the atmosphere while using geothermal sources. It causes noise pollution.
Impacts of Hydrogen Energy
Hydrogen energy is the cleanest energy source. Because when we burn hydrogen, only water is released. It has no negative impact on the environment.
Impacts of Biomass Energy
We can obtain biomass energy in many varieties. In some of them, some harmful gases emerge in the energy production method obtained by the use of waste and wastes. Apart from this, there is minimal effect on the environment.
Impacts of Wave Energy
There are very little noise and visual pollution. Apart from this, it does not need any fuel because it works mechanically. Therefore, it does not release waste and gas to the environment.