Published on February 6th, 2019 | by Sunit Nandi0
Three Kinds of Renewable Energy that Could Transform the Future
There is a limit on Earth’s natural resources. One day, there will be no more oil or coal to burn. Some of these fuels are also bad for the environment and tend to release pollutants into the atmosphere. Some may even be contributing to the warming of the Earth. Eventually, human beings will have to switch to more sustainable forms of energy. Thankfully, technology is helping to quickly bridge this gap. Below are some of the top renewable energy technologies you should be aware of.
One form of renewable energy that has picked up steam in recent years is wind. According to the American Wind Energy Association, there are currently 56,800 wind turbines that produce 96,488 megawatts of energy in the United States. In parts of the Midwest, like Illinois, you can see huge collections of these turbines on the land of farmers who lease out the space to energy companies.
Wind energy is extremely clean. It releases absolutely no pollution. Still, large turbines do have an effect on the natural environment. They can be dangerous to birds for one. Many people also consider them to be an eyesore. They can absolutely transform a landscape in an unsettling fashion especially since most turbines are rather huge currently. Right now, wind energy will probably not be able to solve the Earth’s energy problems. However, as the technology improves, it is likely to become a bigger factor in the energy economy.
Another renewable energy technology that will help to shape the future is solar energy. However, is solar energy a renewable resource when not all places on the Earth get equal coverage from the sun? There is also the fact that cloud cover can too impede the ability of solar panels to collect sunlight. The most promising part of solar energy technology is its ability to store the energy that is collected for later use. It is, for one, far better at the storage component of renewable energy technology than wind power is. So it can provide energy even if the sun isn’t shining brightly every day.
Unlike wind, solar panels also don’t have nearly as negative of an effect on the surrounding landscape. Along with its ability to better store energy, solar may be the wave of the future in regards to renewable energy thanks to this. Currently, solar energy production for the world is at 405 gigawatts total. One gigawatt is equivalent to 1.3 million horsepower. That’s a lot of horses.
Another extremely promising source of renewable energy is one that doesn’t get as much media attention as solar and wind power. This is bio-energy, energy created from things that were once living. There are both sustainable and non-sustainable sources of bio-energy. Wood for burning would be a non-sustainable source. Ethanol gas, created from corn, would be a much more sustainable energy source. It’s very easy for farmers to grow a new crop of corn each year. It takes much more effort to re-grow a forest that was cleared for fuel.
Directly burning biological material can release pollution into the air such as carbon dioxide. However, the creation of this pollution can be avoided if that biological material is converted into a cleaner biofuel or bio-gas. As predicted in Back to the Future Part II, garbage may soon become a sustainable fuel source if it can be efficiently converted into biofuel.
The Earth has limited resources. Pollution and global warming are also serious problems that must be overcome. However, thanks to new technology that will help us better harness the power of renewable sources of energy, these challenges can be met. This includes new technology for producing and storing wind, solar and biological energy. As this technology improves, human beings will have to rely far less on non-sustainable fuel sources. In regards to sustainable energy, the future is bright indeed.