The word “renewable energy source” refers to the energy that is both endless and sustainable, such as sunlight. When the term “alternative energy” is used, it usually refers to both renewable and non-renewable energy sources. It refers to energy sources that aren’t as harmful to the environment as the most often used non-sustainable ones, such as coal.
Although green energy and clean energy are typically associated with renewable sources, there are some key differences between the three types of energy. Green energy comes from natural sources, whereas renewable energy comes from recyclable sources. Clean energy comes from sources that do not generate pollutants like carbon dioxide. While these energy sources have a lot in common, not all renewable energy is genuinely clean or green. Hydropower, for example, has the potential to destroy natural habitats and cause deforestation.
The most popular renewable energy sources currently are:
- Solar energy
- Wind energy
- Hydro energy
- Tidal energy
- Geothermal energy
- Biomass energy
Types of Renewable Energy
1. Solar Energy
One of our planet’s most abundant and accessible energy sources is sunlight. The amount of solar energy that reaches the earth’s surface in a single hour is sufficient to meet the planet’s whole annual energy requirements. The quantity of solar energy we can utilize varies on the time of day, the season of the year, and our geographic location, even though it looks to be an ideal renewable energy source.
2. Wind Energy
Wind energy is a plentiful and environmentally beneficial source of electricity. As wind power contributes more and more to the National Grid, wind farms are becoming more widespread. Wind energy can be harnessed by driving generators using turbines, which then feed power into the grid.. Even though household or “off-grid” generation solutions are available, not every home is suitable for a residential wind turbine. You can learn more about wind energy on our wind power page.
3. Hydro Energy
Hydropower is one of the most commercially developed renewable energy sources. By creating a dam or barrier, a large reservoir can be used to create a regulated flow of water that will drive a turbine and generate power. This energy source is often more reliable than solar or wind power (especially if tidal rather than river-based), and it also allows electricity to be stored for use during peak demand periods. Hydro, like wind energy, can be more practicable as a commercial energy source in some cases (depending on the type and compared to other sources of energy), but depending on the type of property, it can also be used for domestic, ‘off-grid’ generating.
4. Tidal Energy
Tidal energy, which uses twice-daily tidal currents to power turbine turbines, is another sort of hydro energy. Unlike some other hydro energy sources, tidal flow is not constant, but it is very predictable and may thus compensate for periods when the tide current is low. To learn more, go to our marine energy page.
5. Geothermal Energy
By utilising the natural heat beneath the earth’s surface, geothermal energy can be used to heat homes or generate electricity. Despite harnessing a power that exists beneath our feet, geothermal energy is of small importance in the UK when compared to countries like Iceland, where geothermal heat is abundant.
6. Biomass Energy
This is the process of converting solid fuel from plants into energy. Although biomass is a method of generating electricity by burning organic materials, it is now a much cleaner and more energy-efficient process. Biomass turns agricultural, industrial, and home waste into solid, liquid, and gas fuel at a far lower cost to both the economy and the environment.
What Is Carbon Neutrality? Can It Be Achieved?
Carbon neutrality refers to a balance between carbon emissions and carbon absorption in carbon sinks from the atmosphere. The technique of taking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it is known as carbon sequestration. All global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must be offset by carbon sequestration to achieve net-zero emissions.
Any system that absorbs more carbon than it emits is referred to be a carbon sink. Soil, woods, and oceans are the primary natural carbon sinks. To date, no artificial carbon sinks have been able to remove enough carbon from the atmosphere to combat global warming on a large enough scale. Another strategy to cut emissions and achieve carbon neutrality is to reduce emissions in one sector by reducing emissions in another. This can be accomplished by putting money into renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other low-carbon technology.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, that India wants to be a net-zero economy by 2070 and has set a goal of adding 500 GW of non-fossil energy capacity by 2030. India will achieve 50% of its electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
From now until the end of the decade, India will reduce carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes. He also stated that the country’s carbon intensity would be reduced by less than 45 percent by 2030.
India expects industrialized countries to provide $1 trillion in climate funding as soon as possible, according to “Modi.” So far, India has the fourth-largest installed renewable capacity, he told the gathering. In the last seven years, non-fossil fuel energy has expanded by more than 25%, accounting for 40% of the country’s total energy mix.
India likewise wants to make its railway system carbon-neutral by 2030. This will result in an annual decrease of 60 million tonnes of carbon emissions. Similarly, the country’s light-emitting diode (LED) bulb program cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 40 million tonnes every year.
India’s installed renewable energy capacity surpassed 100 GW in August of this year. Large hydroelectric projects are excluded. According to preliminary figures from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), India’s installed renewable energy capacity (including big hydro projects) was at 143.9 GW at the end of Q2 2021, accounting for 37.4 percent of the overall power mix.).
From 2022 onwards, India would need to install 28 GW of additional solar capacity yearly, three times the capacity installed in any given year, to reach 300 GW capacity by 2030. To meet its aim of 300 GW solar capacity by 2030, solar developers say India would need precise execution strategies, long-term governmental stability, and financial infrastructure.
Going carbon neutral is undeniably a wonderful move, but reducing carbon emissions is only the first step toward reducing the environmental damage people create. To offset the CO2 they create, many companies buy carbon credits, plant trees, and invest in wind farms and solar panels.
While this is a wonderful idea, in theory, it has been criticised because it may simply be a case of “passing the carbon buck” unless it is properly monitored. To put it another way, performing one good act in one area does not compensate for the harm done elsewhere; rather, it just serves to alleviate it.
Ultimately, planting trees and sponsoring renewable energy plants and farms, as well as actively exploring less destructive transportation, food, and energy options, must be our top priorities.
Do you want to go closer to being carbon neutral in your energy consumption? You’ve come to the perfect place if you want to learn more about the advantages of renewable energy or make the move to a clean energy plan. Inspire is a renewable energy firm that aims to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
Apollo Power Systems is dedicated to offering Solar Power Solutions that are both cost-effective and long-lasting for both residential and commercial applications. Solar energy is the only renewable energy source that can be used in most homes, and solar panels can help you save a lot of money. Since the debut of solar panels, prices have constantly decreased. Installing solar panels as part of a green electricity package allows you to get 100 percent solar energy into your home. This provides you with electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even on overcast days when the solar panels generate less efficiently.