According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, renewable energy is the fastest-growing energy market in the United States, having increased 100% from 2000 to 2018.
This means that today, renewable energy is no longer only something for granola lovers and conscientious billionaires. It’s a massive market, and more and more people are understanding how important and beneficial it is. But what is renewable energy exactly?
Keep reading to learn all about renewable energy and some of the different forms it comes in.
What Is Renewable Energy?
If you’re unfamiliar with it, renewable energy is a type of energy that comes from the earth’s natural resources. What sets it apart from other resources, such as coal and oil, is that people can’t deplete renewable energy sources.
As mentioned, renewable energy has continued to grow and expand into a huge market. More and more consumers are incorporating it into their homes and businesses, providing them with different benefits. But why should you bother using it?
How It Can Help You
Do you like saving money? Of course, you do! One of the best parts about using renewable energy sources is that they can help you save money.
Although the initial investment needed for the different types of renewable energy can be pricey, many pay themselves off in a matter of several years. They do a fantastic job of lowering your monthly utility bills, and in some cases, can bring them down to zero.
Aside from financial benefits, using renewable energy is a great way to help the environment. You’ll sleep well at night knowing that you’re cutting down on your use of fossil fuels, preventing the likelihood of ecological collapse.
Types of Renewable Energy
If you’re thinking about taking advantage of all that renewable energy has to offer, you’ll need to decide on which type you want to incorporate. In some cases, you may be able to use more than one.
Regardless of where you live, odds are that you’ve seen giant wind turbines on the side of the road at some point. They’re the poster child of green energy for a reason: they work!
Wind turbines capture the wind that flows through them and converts it into electricity. As with other types of renewable energy, people can use wind to supplement existing power sources, or power something on its own. Wind turbines can be by themselves, or form a part of wind farms.
Wind is one of the cleanest energy sources. It doesn’t pollute, produce carbon dioxide, or create any harmful byproducts. However, their massive size means that for the most part, they exist in rural areas. This keeps them away from cities, which need their power the most.
Solar is one of the green energy markets that has seen the most growth in recent years. Today, it’s not uncommon to drive around businesses or residential neighborhoods and see solar panels on the rooves.
The premise of solar energy is simple: panels with solar cells capture radiant energy coming from the sun. They then use it to convert it into electricity, heat, or hot water.
One of the greatest things about solar energy is that the sun is always there, meaning that solar panels provide constant power. If conditions by your house are often cloudy, rays will be able to penetrate through regardless, letting you enjoy the benefits as well.
Although it can be expensive, you’ll enjoy cheaper monthly utility bills. In some cases, you can also get assistance from state governments. Check out Browning Electric to learn about how solar energy can benefit your home and family today.
The sun isn’t the only source of heat. Underneath the surface of the Earth is also a massive amount of heat. Although it escapes in natural sources such as geysers and volcanoes, humans can also capture it by using steam to operate a turbine.
Geothermal energy isn’t as prevalent as some of the other renewable energy sources. However, it’s an effective energy source, and also operates underground. This makes it easy to use regardless of location, as it doesn’t have to use massive constructions.
One downside is that infrastructure costs are high. Many people also fear the effect that earthquakes can have on it.
When most people think of powerful natural forces, the ocean comes to mind right away. Because of that, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that scientists are trying to figure out how to harness the awesome power that the ocean offers.
People can generate power from the ocean in two different forms: mechanical and thermal. Ocean mechanical energy relies on the pushing and pulling of the tides. Thermal uses warm temperatures on the surface of the water.
Ocean energy is one of the most powerful renewable energy sources. It’s also predictable, meaning that scientists don’t have to estimate to figure out how much energy they can generate.
One limitation is that although it’s clean, it does require the use of machinery, which could disturb marine life. It also doesn’t do much to help landlocked people!
Upgrade to Renewable Energy and Help the Planet and Your Finances
What is renewable energy? As this guide explains, it comes in a variety of forms, but all help the planet be a cleaner and healthier place for everyone. In many cases, renewable energy can also help cut down on your monthly utility bills, letting you feel good and save money.
Do you now have a better understanding of some of the different renewable energy sources? Before you go and start installing solar panels everywhere, take a moment to check out some of our other blog posts to read more guides and tips.