Renewable resources are energy sources that never run out and can provide a steady clean energy supply.
Geothermal power is a renewable energy source that uses the Earth’s heat and naturally occurring underground hot water reservoirs to electrical power turbines.
The question of sustainability is always present when it comes to energy resources. Resources must provide enough energy to meet our needs—heating our homes, powering our cities, and driving our cars. It’s also important to consider how these resources can be utilized in the long run. Some resources are nearly limitless, and renewable resources are those that can be replenished. Renewable energy sources produce clean energy, which implies less pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change.
Energy sources in the United States have changed over time, from wood before the eighteenth century to nonrenewable resources such as fossil fuels, petroleum, and coal, which are still the most common energy sources today. However, the Earth’s supply of these resources is finite, and the usage of renewable resources has recently increased. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, renewable energy accounted for 11% of US energy consumption in 2017.
There are various drawbacks to utilizing renewable resources. For example, renewable energy is less consistent than nonrenewable energy, with seasonal or even daily fluctuations in output. On the other hand, scientists are always working to increase the practicality and reliability of renewable resources.
Biomass energy (such as ethanol), hydropower, geothermal power, wind energy, and solar energy are renewable resources.
Organic material from plants or animals is referred to as biomass. Wood, sewage, and ethanol are all examples (which come from corn or other plants). Because this biological material has absorbed energy from the Sun, it can be used as an energy source. When this energy is burned, it is converted to heat energy.
Hydropower is one of the oldest renewable energy sources, with thousands of years of use. Hydroelectricity is now used in every state in the United States. The mechanical energy of flowing water is used to generate electricity in hydropower. Hydroelectric power plants generate energy by turning a turbine-powered by the flow of rivers and streams.
The heat generated deep inside the Earth’s core provides geothermal energy. Geothermal reservoirs can be located along tectonic plate borders or deep underground, near volcanic activity. Drilling wells to pump hot water or steam to a power plant can be used to harvest geothermal energy. After that, the energy is used for heating and power.
The rotation of wind turbines generates wind energy. The wind pushes the turbine blades, and this mechanical energy is converted into electricity by a generator. This electricity can be used to power homes and other structures and be stored in the power grid.
The Sun’s radiation can also be used as a power source, and solar energy can be converted into electricity using photovoltaic cells. When used alone, these cells provide only enough energy to operate a calculator, but when joined to form solar panels or even bigger arrays, they produce far more electricity.
Determining the best way to use renewable resources is becoming increasingly critical as the world’s nonrenewable resource supply diminishes. Converting to renewable energy would help to support the world’s rapidly rising population, but it will also help create a cleaner, healthier environment for future generations.