Solar, wind and biomass are some of the most important sources of renewable energy. Each is used for different purposes, but all are considered low-carbon energy sources.
In order to get the most out of a given renewable energy resource, a number of factors need to be scored. These include: the environmental clearing needed for units, the type of materials used to build them, and the amount of energy converted to electricity.
Hydroelectric energy is one of the most widely used renewable sources of electricity, with a global installed capacity of over 1.295 GW. The United States produces 7.9 percent of its total electricity from hydropower. It is also the fourth largest producer of hydropower in the world.
Wind power is becoming an increasingly popular source of energy. It is not only abundant, but is relatively inexpensive. Several states produce a large percentage of their electricity from it, including Iowa and Oklahoma.
Biomass is another important renewable source of energy, with the US producing the largest share of biofuels in the world. Biomass is also used for heat generation. Traditional biomass is made from organic wastes. Other types include wood, crop residues, municipal solid waste and landfill gas resources.
Wave energy is also an interesting renewable energy source. Some countries are exploring ways to harness this power. There are two main forms of wave power: tidal energy, which works by capturing the energy of waves, and ocean wave energy, which captures the energy of the ocean itself.