What is renewable energy?
Renewable energy is produced using natural resources that are constantly replaced and never run out.
Just as there are many natural sources of energy, there are many renewable energy technologies. Solar is one of the most well known, wind power is one of the most widespread, and hydropower is one of the oldest. Other renewable technologies harness geothermal energy, bioenergy or ocean energy to produce heat or electricity.
Equally exciting are new enabling technologies that help to manage renewable energy so it can be produced day and night while strengthening the electricity grid. These enabling technologies include battery-storage, supply prediction and smart grid technologies.
- Solar energy is energy generated from the sun’s heat or sunlight. Solar power is energy captured from the sun which is converted into electricity, or used to heat air, water, or other fluids.
- Hydropower uses the force or energy of moving water to generate power. This power is called ‘hydroelectricity’.
- Bioenergy is derived from biomass to generate electricity and heat, or to produce liquid fuels for transport. Biomass is any organic matter of recently living plant or animal origin, such as agricultural products, forestry products, municipal and other waste.
- Geothermal energy is stored as heat in the earth.The heat is generated by the natural decay over millions of years of radiogenic elements including uranium, thorium and potassium.
- Ocean energy is a term used to describe all forms of renewable energy derived from the sea. There are two types of ocean energy: mechanical energy from tides and waves, and thermal energy from the sun’s heat.
- A hybrid technology is one that integrates a renewable energy generation technology with other energy generation systems, such as Solar with gas, or wind.
- Wind energy is generated by converting wind currents into other forms of energy using wind turbines. Wind turbines convert the force of the wind into a torque (rotational force), which propels an electric generator to create electricity.