Before the mid-19th century, nearly all energy was renewable. The oldest use of renewable energy is harvesting biomass and burning it as fuel. This was not common until several hundred thousand years ago, but it is now commonplace. Wind energy has been used on ships for 7000 years in the Persian Gulf and on the Nile, and geothermal energy has been used for space heating and bathing since ancient Rome. Renewable energy sources are available in abundance today, and their use will continue to increase.
Solar and wind energy are the most common renewable energy sources and currently account for over one-eighth of U.S. generation. Renewable energy sources can be generated at any scale, and some rural communities are relying on them to heat their homes and supply lighting. With more people relying on renewable energy, it will be necessary to modernize our electricity grid to accommodate their use. If we're going to achieve our energy goals, we must first embrace it.
Transitioning to a sustainable energy source is not a simple task. The effectiveness and efficiency of renewable energy depends on where they're located, and the climate in those areas will determine how effective the system is. This is especially true of wind farms. Wind farms, for example, are most effective in areas with mild climates. However, these farms are most effective when located in the mid-west and the Texas region. And of course, a large portion of the world's population lives in the United States, so we must make sure that we're using renewable energy sources.
As a result of the rapid adoption of renewable energy resources, renewable sources are expected to represent twenty-seven percent of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. Solar and wind energy will make up the largest percentage of this increase. Other forms of renewable energy include hydropower, biofuels, and solar power. These sources are growing at a rapid pace. So, there's a lot to be excited about in the near future. This is good news for those who care about our planet and our future.
The federal government is making it easier for consumers to purchase renewable energy. In some cases, you can even buy renewable energy through a consumer green energy program. In some states, it is possible to qualify for this type of financing through state green energy programs. If you're looking for a financing option, consider applying for a property-assessment-based renewable energy mortgage. This type of financing is often referred to as "green pricing".
In Canada, biomass resources are abundant. Canada's large landmass and active agricultural and forest industries make it possible to produce energy from them. Biomass energy is the second most important renewable energy source after solar and wind energy. Canada has historically relied on wood for cooking and heating. 4.6 percent of households used wood for space heating in 2012, and wood chips comprise seven per cent of residential energy use. This is an excellent start. So, if you're looking for renewable energy in Canada, you can't go wrong. So, go ahead and take advantage of this renewable energy source!
Sunlight has enormous potential to provide energy. There's plenty of solar energy in the world. You can harness it anywhere that receives sunlight. However, solar radiation, or insolation, can vary greatly from place to place. The amount of energy you receive depends on the time of day and weather conditions. That's why solar photovoltaics are one of the fastest growing sources of electricity. By 2020, solar photovoltaics are expected to provide 139 GW of global electricity.
Hydropower is another popular source of renewable energy. Hydropower is the largest renewable energy source worldwide, producing six percent of global electricity. In 2020, wind power and hydropower combined will provide about six percent of the world's electricity. Wind farms don't always produce their full capacity, however. Furthermore, wind farms are often built in remote areas and are very noisy. And they can threaten the lives of local wildlife. Renewable energy is the way to go.
The time it takes to replenish a primary energy resource is what differentiates renewable energy from conventional energy. Traditional energy resources take millions of years to form. By contrast, solar power can be replenished and produced even in less-than-optimal conditions. Another type of renewable energy is biomass. Biomass, including wood and trees, has been the main source of energy in the United States before the mass use of fossil fuels. Modern biomass sources include ethanol and biodiesel.