The Main Advantages of Renewable Energy

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Biomass is any waste, wood or crops that can be used as an alternative energy source to fossil fuels. Examples of biomass are bacterial decay, burning, fermentation and conversion. Burning is the earliest form of biomass, it was used up until the 1800’s and was used to heat up houses. Bacterial decay is when bacteria feed on dead organisms and create a gas called methane, this gas can be very bad for our environment by producing excess carbon dioxide or it can contaminate water sources if waste isn’t stored properly. Fermentation has almost perfected the ways of producing this energy thus being almost harmless to the environment, fermentation creates a gas called ethanol when yeast is added to biomass creating alcohol such as wine. Conversion contains a chemical called methanol methanol is very toxic to animal and human bodies which is produced by chemicals or heat. The four types of biomass are solid waste, landfill gas, alcohol fuels, wood and agricultural biomass. Landfill gas is when bacteria eats the garbage and creates a methane gas which is not very human or animal safe as well as creating potential fire hazards. If the methane gas is handled properly then this could be very promising. Solid waste is when waste in a landfill is burned and used to generate heat energy which gets rid of about 60% of landfill waste, but this isn’t very efficient. Alcohol fuels are all about converting crops to either ethanol or methanol. But this product is extremely expensive so is usually mixed with gasoline to power cars.

Pollution can either increase or decrease with the use of biomass. Burning wood can create an excess of greenhouse gasses just like we are already doing and it can raise temperatures. Trees are a nonrenewable source because trees are used faster than they can be reproduced, which is a problem because trees play the most vital role in life on Earth, so we don’t have the resources to burn coal or wood for energy. Landfill gas actually in fact reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the air because methane is a stronger greenhouse gas. Now that most biodiesel uses about 10% ethanol in the oil, is it started to become considered more carbon-neutral and leave a better carbon footprint.

What is geothermal power? Geothermal power is when humans use hot springs or volcanoes to heat up their homes. The ways this resource is produced is by flash steam, binary steam and dry steam, Flash steam is made by power plants let steaming hot water flow up to surface and as it is flowing up the water comes to a boil and creates steam then the water is put back where it came from, thus making it renewable. Dry steam is made by geysers or hot springs is brought up into a generator and is turned into heat for a home. Binary steam is when freezing cold waters are heated with another fluid with a lower boiling point then it vapors the generators.

There are so many pros and cons to this energy source. You can operate this energy without using fuel, it leaves the smallest footprint out of all the energy sources because the reductions of fuel use, causing about 97% less acid rain. Although this is a renewable resource because the water gets put back where it came from, this could be very problematic and it could even be more wasteful. The price to build a geothermal plant is very costly and has to be located in areas that are available for this energy source which could make transportation of this energy even more costly. But thankfully the research is making this energy source more readily more available.

Next let’s talk about hydroelectric power, hydroelectric power is an energy source made by water being moved towards an electric generator. A simpler example of this extremely powerful energy source is a watermill. Basically, what happens is the current of the water moves the watermill and stimulates a magnet and the faster the water moves, the better the energy production. But a more modern example can be a man made dam being built and the power of the water going forward is powering turbines, creating kinetic energy and powering a giant magnet in a generator, thus making what we call hydropower.

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This power source is amazing because it does not produce any greenhouse gasses and on top of that the hydroelectric plants don’t produce any toxic gasses. But this tampers with the natural flow of the river which doesn’t protect against fish migration which could create a snowball effect of environmental problems. Plus the existence of the dams can create a drought for higher elevations and floods for lower elevations. Ultimately builders should be careful about what states and cities would benefit off of hydropower being used energy source.

Wind power is when the wind blows the turbines in a circular motion, this is connected to a generator and this generates electricity. There are many different kinds of wind turbine sizes, residential-scales are usually 10 kilowatts and can power about one house, small commercial-scales uses about 10 to 50 kilowatts and can be well used for schools, commercial onsite energy use which produces about 50 to 250 kilowatts of power, a large commercial uses about 500 kilowatts to 1.5 megawatts and is used for machines that require a lot of power and lastly a utility-scale energy uses about 1.5 to 7.5 megawatts and these produce energy to sell. The prices for each turbine can get extremely costly, a utility scale turbine can get up to $2.2 million per megawatt of energy and a commercial turbine can get as expensive as $4 million. This is important because it shows what different turbine sizes does for society. But there are often taxes that can help reduce the cost of installing the turbines.

The number of bird and bat deaths are uncanny but research is being done on their behavior to help combat against the rising number of bird and bat deaths. Wind turbines create a magnetic field and can interfere with telecommunication facilities. Complaints about the loud noises of wind energy are being assessed, in the past couple years, lubricants and reconstruction of the turbines have created a quieter turbine.

Lastly is solar power, which is energy made from the sun's rays. Solar power uses photovoltaics, solar panels on top of peoples houses. They generate energy by the light being absorbed and loosens the electrons, then these electrons flow thus creating a current, the current is transferred to the wires. Solar panels are made of a glass sheet adding durability, metal frame and wiring helping activate the silicon solar cells, plexiglas, bus wire and silicon solar cells which has the power as a non-metal to abilitate it to convert sunlight into energy. Silicon has 3 different cell structures being monocrystalline, the solar energy being produced from one silicon block, polycrystalline basically does the same duty but cuts the silicon into smaller parts and amorphous forms makes the solar panels more flexible.

The ways of storing solar energy is extremely inefficient, if you put the solar energy into a battery then it becomes highly toxic to the environment. But we need a way to do this, luckily there are some new ways for people to do this like converting sun rays to hydrogen instead of electricity. This is a very cheap, appealing step in the right direction and has minimal effects on the wild life around us.

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The Main Advantages of Renewable Energy. (2022, November 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 14, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-main-advantages-of-renewable-energy/
“The Main Advantages of Renewable Energy.” Edubirdie, 25 Nov. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/the-main-advantages-of-renewable-energy/
The Main Advantages of Renewable Energy. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-main-advantages-of-renewable-energy/> [Accessed 14 Apr. 2024].
The Main Advantages of Renewable Energy [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Nov 25 [cited 2024 Apr 14]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-main-advantages-of-renewable-energy/
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