The main sources of renewable energy were wind, animal power, and water. Windmills and firewood also provided energy. Modern renewable energy sources include solar power, geothermal heat, and hydropower. They have all proven beneficial for humankind, and some of them have even become more important than they were in the past. Although the cost of renewable energy sources varies greatly, they all have many positive benefits. Listed below are a few advantages of using renewable energy sources.
Biomass: During the early days of civilization, biomass was the primary source of energy. It was used as fuel and to heat houses. With the introduction of fossil fuels, renewable energy sources began to fade away. In rural areas, biomass was used to heat homes, and in urban areas, it was used as supplemental heat. In the mid-1980s, incentives to use renewable energy increased their use. However, biomass has many disadvantages.
Solar power: The production of solar cells in the sun’s rays converts wind energy into electricity. Solar power is an alternative to fossil fuels and can power homes. Solar power systems use silicon to convert the energy from sunlight into electricity. These systems can power small calculators and power entire neighborhoods. Solar farms can be large enough to supply thousands of homes. In addition, floating solar farms are efficient uses of wastewater facilities and bodies of water and can be used for power generation without causing ecological problems.
Hydropower: The oldest renewable energy source, hydropower utilizes the mechanical energy from flowing water. Hydroelectric power plants use flowing streams and rivers to turn turbines to create electricity. Hydrogen can be stored in fuel cells and can be used in various applications. Fuel cells can be converted into electricity and hydrogen can be used as a storage tank for electric vehicles. Hydrogen can be used in several types of cars, including hybrids. Hydrogen fuel cells provide fuel for several different types of cars.
Windmills: Another popular renewable energy source is windmills. These windmills use kinetic energy from the wind to turn a generator inside. This generator then turns a switch to create electricity. Windmill farms are particularly advantageous in the United States, as they provide electricity to nearby buildings. The cost of electricity generated by wind turbines is low, and the industry also creates jobs for people. Windmills can be installed on farms, and require periodic maintenance, but are an excellent investment.
Biomass: Another source of renewable energy is biomass, which is a form of fuel that is produced from renewable organic material. The biomass is produced through the burning of plant material. Compared to conventional fossil fuels, biomass is a more efficient and cleaner process that converts waste materials into fuel. Biomass is also a useful resource to store energy as it can be stored for future use. Renewable energy sources are the future! The future is bright for our planet!
Investment tax credits: Investors can take advantage of the investment tax credit that is available for renewable energy projects. When qualifying equipment is installed, the taxpayer receives a tax credit of up to 30 percent of the total cost. This reduces installation costs and shortens payback time. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 extended the ITC for three years, bringing the total amount of the credit to almost 100 percent in 2024. State and local governments often provide additional incentives for renewable energy.
Wind: Wind power accounts for approximately 6 percent of the country’s electricity production, making it one of the most cost-effective forms of renewable energy. Wind turbines are positioned anywhere where wind speeds are high. They can be installed in open water or even offshore. Hydropower: The largest renewable energy source in the United States, hydropower relies on fast moving water to convert its force into electricity. With the help of turbines and geothermal energy, the power station can produce up to 340 megawatts of electricity.
Renewable energy is used for industrial purposes. About 98 percent of the renewable energy used in the industrial sector is derived from biomass wood. Another thirty-seven percent comes from biofuels and biomass waste. The renewable energy standards have varying requirements, but they all aim to lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy security. Cleaner air and water are added benefits. Most states allow utilities to meet the renewable portfolio standard through tradeable credits. However, there are challenges and obstacles.
Hydropower: Many parts of the world have made the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. While hydroelectric power is still a popular source of power, it is not sustainable for our planet. The energy produced by these plants requires expensive transition lines and can cause air pollution and higher costs. Ultimately, these wind turbines dominate skylines and threaten wildlife. Unlike wind energy, hydropower requires no moving parts. Hydroelectric dams also have a lower cost than wind energy and solar power.