Renewable Energy

Natural energy that does not have a limited supply. Renewable energy can be used again and again, and will never run out. (noun)

Additional Information On Renewable Energy

Renewable EnergyThe above renewable energy definition describes how renewables are an infinite source of energy. There is additional information on renewable energy sources below.

Renewable energy has been in use for thousands of years in one way or another. An example of this is how our ancestors used the wind for sailing, and we now use the wind to generate electricity.

Below is a list of renewable energy sources:

  • Biomass
  • Hydro
  • Geothermal
  • Solar
  • Tidal
  • Wave
  • Wind
  • Wood

Although biomass is a renewable energy, this should not be mistaken for a clean energy source. Although biomass is significantly cleaner than most fossil fuels such as coal and oil, it still produces sulphur dioxide during electricity production.

Hydro energy, commonly referred to as "hydro power", is a very clean and powerful method for generating electricity from a trapped wall of water.

The disadvantage to hydro power is the cost to the surrounding environment, as land upstream needs to be flooded, and land downstream will be drained during construction. This can have disastrous effects for wildlife and life in the rivers.

Geothermal energy is a reliable energy source, depending on your location. It is commonly used to provide a source of heating or hot water for households using "ground source heat pumps", and also can be used as the energy source for power stations in appropriate areas.

Solar energy can be somewhat unreliable depending on the placement, location, and surrounding environment of the solar cells. The greater the solar energy supply, the more effective the cells will be, however, the more heat a solar panel receives, the more unreliable it can be.

Tidal energy can be used to create electricity from the large energy force behind the tides. The main disadvantage of tidal energy is the effect on the surrounding environment, affecting sea life, and shore access.

Wave energy is similar to tidal energy, but instead uses the force behind the waves (not the tide) to generate electricity. The cost to sea life is usually less of an issue, as the construction tends to float on the water, and not in the sea. This is a relatively new technology, and in many cases, is still in the research phase.

Wind energy can be a very reliable renewable energy source if the wind turbines are placed in the right location. The main disadvantages of this form of energy are; sight and noise pollution, and that most designs of wind turbines can be harmful to birds.

Wood energy ties in with biomass, as it is still renewable, but must be burnt during electricity production, which makes it harmful for our environment.