Alternative Energy and Energy Efficiency – Combining Renewable Energy With Energy-Saving Practices

Alternative Energy and Energy Efficiency Combining Renewable Energy with EnergySaving Practices

Renewable energy refers to resources or processes that are continuously replenished by nature. Examples include sunlight, wind, tides, geothermal heat and biomass fuels.

Non-renewable energy on the other hand comes from sources that are finite and could run out. Utilizing them for powering our homes, businesses, transportation needs and more contributes significantly to climate change and pollution.

1. Wind Energy

Wind energy uses the kinetic energy of moving air to generate electricity. This renewable source can be utilized for small individual turbines or large wind farms situated atop towers with rotor blades extending more than 100 meters (328 feet).

Small wind turbines can generate 100 kilowatts of electricity, while larger ones generate up to 1.8 megawatts. Wind patterns and speeds differ across terrain and seasonally, but many locations enjoy enough prevailing winds for wind turbines to be productive.

2. Solar Energy

Solar energy is an efficient and cost-effective way to reduce energy usage and pollution. Installation is straightforward and the financial benefits can be seen over time.

Contrary to fossil fuels, which take millions of years to form, solar energy can be captured quickly and efficiently. You can use it for charging electronic devices as well as heating water or lighting your home.

Solar energy also saves money by avoiding peak-hour prices on electricity from your utility company. It can be combined with battery storage to maximize energy savings, storing excess power so it’s ready when needed most.

3. Biomass Energy

Biomass energy, commonly referred to as “biofuels,” is the renewable fuel produced from biomass feedstocks such as wood, grasses, perennial plants, agricultural crops, wastes and landfill gases. This fuel can also be transformed into liquid forms for power generation purposes.

Biomass fuels, when compared to fossil fuels, are considered more environmentally friendly resources. Not only does it not deplete natural resources but can be replenished rapidly (from one growing season up to several decades), making it a desirable source for those concerned with sustainability.

Biomass is a renewable energy source that contributes to environmental protection by sequestering carbon and not adding to atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases. Furthermore, biomass can be used as a replacement for fossil fuels in various industrial applications.

4. Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is an environmentally friendly and sustainable form of power that generates electricity directly from hot springs. It has also been employed for heating homes and industrial processes.

Geothermal is an environmentally friendly source of electricity that does not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, making it a superior alternative to fossil fuels and coal. Indeed, geothermal is seen as an integral component in the world’s transition toward sustainable energy sources.

Decarbonization of energy needs can be achieved when combined with other renewable technologies like wind or solar power. Furthermore, energy-saving practices like improved insulation can further reduce buildings’ carbon footprints.

5. Hydroelectric Energy

Hydroelectric power is generated by damming rivers or diverting water to create reservoirs that feed turbines that turn generators. It’s one of the world’s largest renewable sources, accounting for around one sixth of global electricity output.

Hydropower is a particularly versatile source of electricity, capable of being used to meet changing demands or restore supply after blackouts. It also has the capacity to fill energy gaps during peak hours and maintain system voltage levels.

Hydropower does have some negative environmental consequences. For instance, when a dam is built it can reduce oxygen in the water, which in turn negatively impacts aquatic life such as salmon and leads to greenhouse gas emissions.