The six different forms of renewable energy technologies used worldwide include wind and solar energy.
In recent years, clean energy has exploded in popularity as many of the world’s top economies seek to lessen their reliance on high-polluting fossil fuels as part of the energy transition.
In 2018, renewable energy sources provided 28 percent of worldwide electricity, with 96 percent coming from hydropower, wind, and solar technologies.
Renewables are expected to account for 49 percent of worldwide electricity generation by 2050, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) International Energy Outlook 2019.
NS Energy examines the six types of renewable energy technology available.
Renewable energy technologies are divided into six categories.
1. Wind power
After several countries adopted the technology to reduce emissions, wind energy has become one of the fastest-growing renewable energy sources.
The method involves using wind to generate electricity by harnessing the kinetic energy of moving air. Wind turbines or wind energy conversion systems convert this into electrical energy.
The technique can be used onshore or offshore, with fixed-bottom turbines tethered to the seafloor or, on a smaller scale, floating constructions that can be based in deeper seas.
China, the world’s greatest emitter, also has the world’s largest wind power fleet, with a capacity of just over 288 gigawatts (GW) by 2020.
2. Solar power
Solar energy is one of the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy sources since it converts solar energy into thermal or electrical energy.
Solar photovoltaic (PV), together with wind, is the most well-established low-carbon energy technology, with development costs falling as scale increases.
Solar is on course to achieve new worldwide deployment records each year after 2022, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), with an average of 125GW of additional capacity planned globally between 2021 and 2025.
China presently has the most installed solar capacity, with roughly 40GW coming online in 2020, bringing the country’s total installed solar power to 240GW.
The gravitational force of flowing water generates hydroelectricity. The four primary groups are traditional (dams), pumped-storage, run-of-the-river, and offshore marine technologies (tidal).
Hydropower plants emit fewer greenhouse gases than fossil-fuel-fueled power plants, but the plants and dams themselves require substantial investment.
According to the International Energy Agency, the largest renewable energy source, hydropower, is expected to provide 16 percent of worldwide electricity demand by 2023.
China has the biggest capacity share of the technology and leads the world in generation in 2019, with 1,302 terawatt-hours produced (TWh).
4. Energy from biomass
The term “biomass” refers to all plant and animal matter, and plants, wood, animal, and agricultural waste are all examples.
It is typically utilized in power generation as wood pellets are gathered from forests and burned to produce energy.
It is becoming a more popular alternative power generation choice when coal-fired power facilities are being phased out due to climate and environmental concerns.
Because the availability of biomass sources such as plants, manure, and trash is not finite like finite fossil fuels, many people believe the alternative energy source to be renewable.
5. Tidal power
Tidal energy is produced by turning energy from the strong tides into electricity, and its output is more predictable than wind and solar energy.
Although the world’s first large-scale tidal power plant went online in 1966, it is still not commonly employed.
However, the growing global focus on generating electricity from sustainable sources is projected to hasten the development of new tidal energy systems.
6. Geothermal energy
Geothermal energy uses heat pumps to extract steam or hot water beneath the earth’s crust, harnessing natural heat energy.
There are three types of geothermal power stations for processing raw energy: dry steam plants, flash steam plants, and binary cycle plants.
Geothermal energy is a promising future power source because of its consistent and predictable supply and its low cost and low carbon footprint.