Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy
What is renewable energy and how does it differ from our traditional form of energy? How do we exploit renewable resources and make them efficient for our use? Renewable energy is the source of a specific biological source like the wind, sun, waves, or tides that can be renewed over again without depleting its source. When applied to electricity, it means utilizing energy from the natural world to create electricity.
Globally, renewable energy constitutes 24 percent
of overall electricity generation in 2021, most of which are from non-hydro power (8 percent). Renewable electricity includes solar power, which accounts for most of the growth, as well as geothermal, tidal, and biomass sources. Biofuels account for a further 4 percent. Solar and wind-powered electricity generators together make up the major share of the global renewable energy supply.
Biomass energy, such as wood and vegetable oil
has been extensively used for centuries. It is considered to be a zero pollution source, although some debate about this, claiming that the current crop production is detrimental to the environment. Ethanol was created from these biomass fuels and was first introduced as an alternative fuel in the United States in the 1970s. The cost and supply factors have since been improved, making Ethanol a far more viable option for energy production.
The idea of running our electricity grid
from renewable resources has many benefits. First, it will allow us to free up space on our electricity grid for other uses, for instance, storage systems, or even generating our own electricity. In this way, we will not be depleting our natural resources any faster than we already are. Also, by building several small renewable energy systems, we can actually help reduce the carbon footprint we all have a responsibility to make. So by having several energy-producing power plants running in tandem with each other, we can significantly reduce our carbon footprint.
In addition to Ethanol
another popular form of renewable fuel is methane gas, which is a product of organic waste decomposition. This means that it can also come from organic waste materials such as sewage. One disadvantage of using Methane gas as a form of renewable fuel is that it cannot move much faster than water, which is what makes it an inefficient fuel. There is however an abundant supply of methane gas, which is trapped under the ice, waiting to be utilized and used by humankind. There are presently two demonstration projects using this technology with the ambition of capturing one percent of the global supply of methane gas.
As we shift to a cleaner energy regime
there will be some negative impact on our environment. We may be faced with the problem of over-consumption, deteriorating air quality, and decreasing national income. This is where renewable sources of energy like Hydropower, Biofuels, Geothermal Energy, Wave Power, and Solar Power come in. Many government schemes aim to introduce these technologies in the public sector. However, as the world looks to save the environment, everyone needs to be concerned about the use of these fuels. Many regulations are currently in force to regulate their use.