Renewable energy is on the rise. With the increasing concern for our planet and the devastating effects of climate change, renewable energy sources are being innovated, completely changing the way we power our homes and heat our buildings. Our blog dives into what fossil fuels really are, why we’re moving away from them and an in depth look at renewable energy sources. To find out more about renewable technology, keep on reading.
Fossil Fuels: What Are They?
Fossil fuels are materials that cause local and global scale pollution. There are 3 main fossil fuels that are found on the planet, which we have been using for over 150 years to power our homes and keep them warm, run businesses, vehicles and more! The three main fossil fuels are:
● Coal - Burning coal is potentially the most harmful fossil fuel, and it’s the single largest source for rise in global temperature.
● Oil - Oil releases a large amount of carbon dioxide when it is burned, contributing to almost a third of the world’s total carbon emissions. Oil spills in our oceans can also have a detrimental effect on ecosystems and wildlife too.
● Gas - Natural gas is sometimes considered a cleaner energy course, however it is still a fossil fuel, responsible for one fifth of the world’s total carbon emissions.
Renewable Energy Technology
Fossil fuels are a finite resource, meaning that they will eventually run out one day. Because of this, and the damaging effects that fossil fuels have on the environment, renewable energy sources are being introduced thick and fast. Over the years, a wide range of alternative energy sources are being used all over the world to protect our planet and prevent the unnecessary use of fossil fuels.
The Most Common Types Of Renewable Energy Technology
Over the years, a wide range of alternative energy sources have been developed. While solar power and wind energy may be the first ones that spring to mind, there are more renewable energy sources out there. Read below to find out more about the most common types of renewable energy.
Solar power is one of the most popular forms of alternative energy, because it can even be harnessed in cloudy conditions. Solar energy is generated through solar panels that can be fitted onto buildings, homes and now we even have vast solar farms here in the UK. It’s a great renewable source of energy that creates no harmful emissions.
Lasting for over 25 years, they are an excellent option for homes and businesses. Solar batteries and storage also allow you to store all your harnessed energy for a rainy day. Many homes use this energy during the winter months to power their homes and save on electricity bills, all without contributing to environmental damage!
WInd energy is another popular form of renewable energy, using kinetic energy and converting it into electricity that can be used for our day to day lives. Huge wind turbines are used to collect this kinetic energy, some being on-shore and some being off-shore. You can find some residential-scale wind turbines, as well as small commercial ones, but the wind turbines we typically think of are on a much larger scale. Placing the wind turbines by the coast isn’t just to keep them out of the way, the strongest breeze is often by the sea, so strategically placing wind turbines here allows the most electricity to be generated.
Hydro-electric power, also known as hydroelectricity, is energy that harnesses the power of moving water. This could be a reservoir, a waterfall or any kind of water that is in motion. Most hydroelectric plants have a reservoir of water, with a gate or a valve that controls the flow.
Typically, hydroelectric power plants use the water to drive a turbine that powers a generator. Some plants also use a series of canals, rather than a dam, to move the turbines and generate electricity. The final type of hydro electric plant that you will find is called a pumped storage facility, which collects solar, wind and even nuclear energy. Energy is stored by pumping water uphill to flow back down into a reservoir, moving the turbines and generating power.
Bioenergy is the name given to energy that has been produced from organic materials. Bioenergy uses materials such as wood, charcoal, plants, waste and other natural materials to create heat and power. Most biomass is used in rural areas or less developed countries, using trees and other crops to create energy.
It’s important to note that bioenergy can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, but not on the same scale as fossil fuels, which is why biomass fuels are used in limited quantities. If bioenergy operations were on a larger scale, they could be more harmful to the environment.
Why Are We Moving Away From Using Fossil Fuels?
It’s no secret that fossil fuels have a serious negative impact on our environment. With more damage to our ozone layer and an increase in greenhouse gases, we have already experienced some of the impacts of burning fossil fuels:
● More extreme weather
● Heat waves and dry spells
● Rising sea levels
● Melting ice caps, melting glaciers
● Severe storms
● Loss of wildlife species
● Health risks for people
These are just some of the ways in which climate change is shaping the world we live in, and using alternative energy can help us to undo some of the damage.
Benefits Of Renewable Energy
Aside from not contributing to climate change, renewable energy sources hold a range of other benefits. Read below to find out some of the other advantages that renewable energy can create.
As we’ve already touched on, using renewable energy products is an excellent way to combat the harmful effects of climate change. By using these alternative sources and harnessing power naturally, we are mitigating some of the problems being caused by global warming, such as extreme weather and rising sea levels.
Public Health Is Improved
We may not always realise the impact that global warming has on us, but water pollution and air pollution are two consequences of global warming that we are affected by too. By using renewable energy however, these health risks are reduced massively.
The air and water pollution created by burning gas and coal can lead to breathing issues, heart attacks, cancer and in extreme cases, death. Renewable energy sources may emit some air pollution, but not on the same scale as fossil fuels.
All of the new, renewable energy sources create economic benefits as well as environmental benefits. Solar industries, wind power, hydro-electric power stations and other alternative sources all require staff and labour to keep them running.
All of these industries require staff to operate them, meaning more jobs are created. Renewable energy companies often provide a large amount of jobs across the country, from construction and industrial opportunities to solar panel installations and local employment, these companies provide jobs all over the world.
Stable Energy Prices
With more and more homes using renewable energy, this can help to stabilise the prices of fuel and energy in the future. As more and more homes install solar panels, and businesses start to focus more on their energy usage, we may start to see more stable energy prices.
By having more homes that rely on renewable energy, there will be a reduced demand for the use of fossil fuels. Hopefully, this will lead to more stable energy prices, and individuals using renewable energy won’t be hindered by any rises in energy prices.
Elite Renewables: Renewable Energy Installation And More
Here at Elite Renewables, we specialise in a range of renewable energy products as well as HVAC systems and maintenance. We understand the importance of renewable energy and how it can help your home or business.
To learn more about our services and what we do, feel free to head to our website. Alternatively, for any further queries, get in touch with us today to speak to our team directly.