Now more than ever, it’s important to understand the impact that all of our decisions can have on the environment. For example, many of us are responsible for the usage of nonrenewable energy, much of which causes the emission of greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere.
However, renewable electricity is becoming more and more common in today’s society. It can be a great alternative to traditional electricity and can help you take the first step towards being more environmentally friendly and going green! If you think you might be interested in investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, you might want to start by learning more about the different types of resources.
What Is Renewable Energy Exactly?
It is energy that comes from natural resources that are constantly being replenished. The main difference between non-renewable and renewable energy is that you can never use too much of the renewable resources, but that is most definitely not the case for non-renewable resources. Renewable resources can be used for heating, transportation, lighting, and so much more. The best part about it? It’s done in an environmentally conscious way. This kind of energy now accounts for about 12% of U.S. energy generation, and the number is only going to grow.
What Kinds Of Renewable Energy Are Out There?
Perhaps the best part about renewable energy is that there are so many different forms available to us. Depending on where you live or what your purpose is for using renewable energy, the best form of it can vary. Learn a little bit more about some of the most common forms:
Wind energy is a fairly common form of renewable energy in the world today. It works by having turbines that spin when impacted by wind, and this feeds an electric generator that then produces electricity. This is one of the cheapest energy sources available, and it is best suited for areas with high wind speeds. For example, any hilltops, open flat plains, or even open water would all be great opportunities to generate wind energy and electricity.
Hydroelectric power is yet another way to utilize renewable energy. It is the largest renewable source of energy in the United States! Hydroelectric power functions by using fast-moving water, typically from a river, that spins the blades of a turbine. Similar to wind energy, the spinning of the turbine feeds a generator that can produce electricity. This is a great option for using renewable energy as long as it is on a smaller scale, as some larger plants can cause other environmental impacts such as diverting animals from their original habitat. Otherwise, if used appropriately, hydroelectric power is far better for the environment than any source of non-renewable energy.
Perhaps the most widely known and accessible form of renewable energy is solar energy. Solar energy is especially useful for warming homes and businesses and powering electronic devices. Rooftop panels containing photovoltaic cells can absorb sunlight and transform it directly into electricity. Although it is a slightly more expensive investment, it saves homeowners money in the long run because it can greatly reduce electric bills.