Renewable Energy

Why is renewable energy so important?  The major sources of energy we use right now are fossil fuels, and while if we woke up tomorrow and all the fossil fuels were gone the earth would eventually replenish them.  That will take thousands of years however so fossil fuels are considered a non-renewable source of energy.

What makes up renewable energy then?

These are just some possibilities when it comes to renewable energy, let’s look at them closer.

Wind Energy

Wind energy is becoming more popular and wind turbines are being built all over the world.  The only real drawback to wind energy is that it is unreliable and sporadic.  The wind doesn’t blow continuously anywhere.

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy comes from the heat that is generated by the earth and then we convert that energy into something usable.  This is renewable as long as the earth still has a molten core.  Here is a video showing how geothermal energy works.

Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy is technically not renewable, since matter is destroyed in order to produce energy, however the supply of nuclear material is pretty much endless. Combine that with the fact that splitting the atom of fissionable material produces an incredible amount of energy.   The problem lies in the fact that it also gives off radiation which is deadly.  Nuclear meltdowns can destroy the environment for thousands of years, think of Chernobyl .  While nuclear energy is an incredible source of energy it is not without risks.

Hydroelectric Energy

Hydroelectricity creates energy by harnessing the power of water.  Dams are built and they capture the energy of the water, water is used to turn turbines as it is released.  However good hydroelectric power is building dams still disturbs the local ecosystems.  It is still a better alternative to fossil fuels but we have to be very careful in how hydroelectricity and the dams are built and managed.

Solar

This is probably one of the best sources of renewable energy and the energy for every living thing already  comes from the sun.  Using photovoltaic cells we can take energy from the sun and convert into usable power.

We are still a long way from moving away from fossil fuels.  Electric companies are moving toward greener energy sources and our electricity moves over to renewable energy there are still millions of cars on the road running on fossil fuels.  Gradually we have transitioned to hybrid and more fuel efficient vehicles but it may be years yet before we rid ourselves of our dependence on fossil fuels.

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