Renewable energy types

What is the definition of renewable energy?

A renewable energy source is defined as both sustained and infinite energy, such as the sun. When the word “alternative energy” is used, it usually refers to renewable energy sources. It refers to energy sources other than the most often utilized non-sustainable ones, such as coal.

What is the difference between zero-carbon and low-carbon energy?

Nuclear-generated electricity is not renewable, but it is carbon-neutral, meaning it emits little or no CO2, just like renewable energy sources. Nuclear energy provides a constant basis. Thus, it isn’t affected by the weather, and it will help Britain achieve net-zero energy.

Currently, the most common renewable energy sources are:

  • Solar power
  • Wind power
  • Hydroelectric power
  • Tidal power
  • Geothermal energy is a renewable source of energy.
  • Energy from biomass

How do these renewable energy sources work?

1) Solar power

One of our planet’s most abundant and readily available energy sources is sunlight. The quantity of solar energy that reaches the earth’s surface in one hour is enough to meet the planet’s real annual energy needs. Although it appears to be an ideal renewable energy source, the amount of solar energy we can use depends on the time of day, the season of the year, and geographical location. Solar energy is becoming a more popular alternative to complement your energy usage in the United Kingdom. Read our guide to solar electricity to see if it’s right for you.

2) Wind power

The wind is a plentiful clean energy source. Wind farms are becoming more common in the UK, with wind power increasing to the National Grid. Turbines operate generators, which ultimately feed electricity into the National Grid, allowing wind energy to be harnessed. Household or “off-grid” generation systems are available, although not every home is appropriate for a domestic wind turbine.

3) Hydroelectric power

Hydropower is one of the most commercially developed renewable energy sources. A big reservoir can create a regulated flow of water that will run a turbine and generate power by constructing a dam or barrier. This energy source is often more reliable than solar or wind power (especially if it is tidal rather than river-based). It also allows electricity to be stored for use when demand peaks. Hydro, like wind energy, can be more viable as a commercial energy source in some instances (depending on the kind and compared to other energy sources). Still, it can also be utilized for domestic, ‘off-grid’ generating, depending on the property type. Visit our hydropower page to learn more.

4) Tidal power

Another type of hydro energy is tidal energy, which employs twice-daily tidal currents to power turbine turbines. Although tidal flow is not constant, it is highly predictable and can thus compensate for periods when the tide current is low, unlike some other hydro energy sources. Visit our marine energy page to learn more.

5) Renewable geothermal energy

Geothermal energy can heat homes or create electricity by using the natural heat beneath the earth’s surface. Geothermal energy, despite harnessing a power lying beneath our feet, is of minor importance in the UK compared to locations like Iceland, where geothermal heat is abundant.

6) Energy from Biomass

This is the process of turning plant-based solid fuel into energy. Although biomass is primarily a technique of burning organic materials to generate electricity, it is now a much cleaner and more energy-efficient process. Biomass creates power at a far lower economic and environmental cost by converting agricultural, industrial, and home waste into solid, liquid, and gas fuel.

What isn’t an energy source renewable?

Because fossil fuels are finite, they are not renewable energy sources. Furthermore, they emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change and global warming.

It is better to burn wood instead of coal, but the process is complicated. Wood pellets and compressed briquettes are manufactured from waste from the wood processing sector. Hence they could be considered recycling waste.

Additionally, compressed biomass fuels generate more energy than logs. On the other hand, burning wood discharges particles into the atmosphere (whether it is raw wood or processed trash).

Renewable energy’s prospects

The demand for energy to power our homes, businesses, and communities grows with the global population. To maintain a sustainable energy level and safeguard our world from climate change, we must innovate and expand renewable energy sources.

Renewable energy sources currently account for 26% of global electricity, but the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that by 2024, they will account for 30%. Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, remarked, “This is a pivotal time for renewable energy.”

The United Kingdom will achieve a new fantastic renewable energy milestone in 2020. For the first time, the country celebrated two months of running entirely on renewable energy on Wednesday, June 10th. This is a significant step forward for renewable energy.

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