Renewable energy comes from sources that, if properly managed, do not run out and can be sustained indefinitely because they replenish in a relatively short amount of time. Renewable energies are considered alternative energy sources because they come from things other than fossil fuels.
There has been recent growth in renewable energy use due to technology advancements and growing environmental concerns surrounding reliance on fossil fuels.
There are five main types of renewable energy:
Ethanol can be used as a fuel, as utilized in Brazil, or as a fuel additive, as done in the United States. It can come from corn, switchgrass, as well as other biomass sources.
Alcohol and methane can also be extracted from biomass to be turned into a fuel source.
Geothermal is when heated water from below the earth's surface is captured, and the steam is used to generate electricity.
Compared to fossil fuels, renewable energy can have significantly less waste, and as a result, it can have relatively low negative impacts on the surrounding ecology and human health. In operation, renewable energies produce little to no greenhouse gas emissions, which means they have less impact on global climate change. Because renewable energies can quickly replenish themselves or are inherently infinite, they are more sustainable than fossil fuels.
Renewable energies do have their challenges, however. It can be difficult to produce and store enough energy for renewables as compared with fossil fuels because building renewable energy infrastructure can be costly and difficult to transport.
Renewable energy supply may not always match demand because weather can be unpredictable, which affects water, wind, and sun resources. The supply of renewable energy may be geographically far from the demand, making transport of that electricity difficult.
Source: Adapted from Sophia instructor Jensen Morgan, WIND FARM CC HTTP://BIT.LY/1A32WSA BIOMASS CC HTTP://BIT.LY/19SDBOG SOLAR PANEL CC HTTP://BIT.LY/17EARSW HYDRO PD HTTP://BIT.LY/1EQHQBI GEOTHERMAL CC HTTP://BIT.LY/1E5X5KI ROADSTER PANEL CC HTTP://BIT.LY/1VIKLK9 TURBINE TRANSPORT CC HTTP://BIT.LY/19WIWV0