What is Renewable Energy?

September 26, 2017 Solar Power

renewable energy

Essentially, renewable energy is electricity not reliant on fossil fuels and instead powered by natural sources like sun, wind and water. This energy is a carbon-free alternative, and popularity is growing in Australia and throughout the world.

Technology in the renewable energy arena is ever expanding and developing at a rapid and exciting pace. While we are not yet ready to rely 100% on renewable energy sources to sustain our modern lives, exciting times are ahead. The future looks bright, and some day, solar, wind and hydro energy will be the core source of electricity.

According to Origin Energy, the following renewable energy sources are currently in use in Australia:

  • Solar – solar energy is harnessed from the sun. This energy is used two ways, the conversion of sunlight directly to electricity (photovoltaic technology) and the conversion of sunlight to heat (solar thermal technology).
  • Wind – wind energy utilises energy from air flowing over the surface of the earth. This power turns turbine blades which then generate electricity.
  • Hydro – water based energy is created from flowing or falling water. Similar to wind technology, water in hydroelectric plants is used to turn turbines thereby generating electricity.
  • Geothermal – Hot fluids extracted from underground are expended to power steam turbines to generate electricity.
  • Bioenergy – Gases emitted from decaying plant or animal matter are employed to power turbines that generate electricity. Commonly used forms of biomass include: manure, wood waste, landfill wastes and crop by-products like sugarcane.
  • Marine energy – The power of waves and tides turn turbines to generate electricity.

What is the difference between renewable energies and non-renewable energies?

Traditional fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil come from non-renewable sources. This means they originate from carbon-based organic materials that take millions of years to form. Their use also produces greenhouse gases harmful to our environment.

Renewable energy sources are not carbon based materials, they come from sources organically and constantly replenished by nature. They won’t produce greenhouse gases when employed to produce electricity. They are friendly to the environment and sustainable over the long term.

Climate change is a real thing, and finding a way to depend more fully on renewable sources is more important now than ever before. Using green energy won’t just go a long way to saving the planet, over time it will save you money as well. While we aren’t ready to switch the grid off completely just yet, the day may eventually come. For now, the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun won’t always shine but battery storage is improving rapidly and the future looks bright.

If you’re interested in investing in solar energy and the sustainability of our planet, or you’d like to find out more about how you can save big, call Sun2u today on 4001 0505.

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