Renewable energy is a type of energy that is generated from sources that do not deplete natural resources. It includes solar, geothermal, wind, biomass, and nuclear. Each of these sources have different advantages and disadvantages.
The most commonly used renewable energy sources are wind and solar power. These resources are a great way to help the planet and are environmentally friendly.
Wind and solar power generate electricity using large turbines. They are usually located in rural areas. However, some wind farms are built onshore or offshore. Typically, wind power is a less expensive source to operate than coal plants.
Solar energy can be converted into electricity by using photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic cells contain a semiconductor wafer, which can absorb direct sunlight. In order to create electricity, the cells transfer the energy to an electric field. This energy can be stored in a power grid.
Biomass energy is derived from a variety of organic materials, including crops, trees, and waste wood. It can be used to produce electricity or to provide space heating. Some biomass energy sources can also be recycled into biofuels.
Hydropower is another renewable energy source. Hydroelectric power plants use the flow of water to turn a turbine.
Geothermal energy is derived from the heat of the Earth’s core. Geothermal steam can be used for heating, although it is not as efficient as other forms of geothermal energy.
The growth of the renewable energy industry was driven by innovations and increased demand. In the U.S., the average annual growth rate for renewable energy is 2.4 percent.