As the world reaches its energy crisis we need to reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy sources, and start generating renewable energy on a massive scale.
To date there are four main types of renewable energy that we can produce: wind power, solar power, hydro power, and geothermic power.
Wind turbines have been around for millennia, further back than the birth of Christ. Over the years they have been used to pump water, drag boats and grind flour. But at the turn of the industrial revolution, wind turbines were made to produce electricity.
Although many people envision windmills as those ornate ones in Holland or the small wind-pumps on farms, they have been developed tremendously in the past decade. Now wind turbines are able to generate thousands of megawatts of power, and when used on a small scale at home, wind power can substitute conventional energy sources, helping households to get off the grid.
The sun is the most readily available form of energy there is, so we should be using it to a larger extent. And as technology advances, households are provided with a number of ways to harness the power of the sun. These ways include solar electricity, solar heaters, solar dryers and solar cookers.
With solar electric and heating systems, they are both cost-effective, good for the environment, they require little maintenance and help you save on your utility bills. Solar cookers are very healthy way of cooking food, since they cook the food at a lower temperature-helping to retain its vitamins and minerals. They are also very portable, making them ideal for travelers and campers.
Initially hydro or water power was used industrially to rivers and waterfalls to power waterwheels that would then be used to move water for irrigation or grind flour.
Today hydro power is used in dams to produce electricity for households and businesses. Hydro-electric power is generate on a large scale where dammed up water is channeled through turbines, which spins a dynamo as it gushes through. The best example of hydro-electric power would be the Hoover Dam, which was built to provide electricity to Las Vegas. In fact hydro-electric power is efficient is popular nowadays that it accounts for over 90% of the worlds renewable energy.
There have been some social and environmental concerns about building dams for hydroelectricity since entire village and communities are flooded by the dam, and the walls prevent certain species of fish from swimming upstream to spawn.
Geothermal power is typically produced in areas with ongoing volcanic activity, where magma is relatively close to the surface. One such area is Iceland, where a large proportion of its power is produced from volcanic geysers.
Here, large power plants are built over the geysers, where hot fast-moving steam from the geysers drives large turbines to make electricity. To speed up the process, water is sometimes pumped back into the geysers to make more steam, which is then used to drive the turbines once again, thus making it an endless cycle.
Well, this concludes our brief overview of the 4 main types of renewable energy. You can find out more in-depth information on each type by reading our other articles or browsing our website in the link below.