The use of fossil fuels is having a detrimental impact on the environment, and recent studies have found a significant increase in global temperatures, extreme weather events, and the loss of natural habitats. In order to offset the impact of fossil fuels, renewable energy is becoming more popular as recent advances in energy capture and storage have allowed for more widespread use. These technologies range from small scale production to massive facilities. In the U.S., support for renewables has become bipartisan, with both parties interested in economic benefits.
The US government’s renewable energy standards include the Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires utilities to use certain types of renewable technologies to meet a certain volume of gasoline. This standard was set at 2.78 percent in 2006, but the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 increased the volume to 36 billion gallons by 2022, which is equivalent to seven percent of annual gasoline consumption. However, it is still unclear when and how these standards will be implemented. The United States’ Renewable Portfolio Standard is the most significant regulatory framework for renewable energy.
Geothermal energy uses heat from underground reservoirs to produce steam, but is only available in certain regions of the world. It also requires large quantities of freshwater to extract steam, making it less viable in locations with dry heat and little freshwater. Biomass energy, on the other hand, uses material from recently living organisms. Plants use photosynthesis to create energy, which is then stored for later use. Other biomass feedstocks are manure and garbage.
Hydropower is one of the most popular renewable energy sources in the United States, accounting for six percent of electricity. It is becoming the most affordable energy source in many regions, including the West Coast. Wind turbines can be placed in open water or anywhere with high wind speeds. Hydropower is one of the largest sources of renewable energy in the country, relying on fast moving water. This form of renewable energy is the most efficient way to produce electricity.
While traditional energy resources can take millions of years to form, renewable energy resources can be replenished over a very short period of time. For example, solar energy is constant and can be used at any time, but isn’t always optimal for production. And biomass fuels are also renewable. And since humans are not limited to these resources, renewable sources are becoming more important than ever. But how do we harness this renewable energy? A good start is to look into the history of energy.
Wind turbines use wind energy to power generators. These turbines feature a tall tower with two or three propeller-like blades at the top. The blades turn a generator located inside the tower. The turbines produce electricity for nearby buildings. Wind turbines can be installed on land or offshore. Offshore turbines are more efficient. Wind turbines also don’t produce pollutants into the air. And wind farms create jobs, too.
Solar power is another renewable energy source. These devices use silicon and other materials to produce electricity. Distributed solar systems use solar cells to power homes, while solar farms can power thousands of homes. The cost of solar panels is about half the price of kerosene lamps. Solar power systems are already installed in over 3 million households around the world. In fact, Kenya has the highest percentage of solar power installations per capita, with 30,000 small solar panels sold every year.
Hydroelectric power is another popular form of renewable energy. It makes use of fast-moving water, such as waterfalls. While hydroelectric power is the most widely used renewable energy source in the U.S., wind energy is rapidly closing the gap. It is important to note that hydroelectric power and wind energy are not the same thing, as both have their advantages and disadvantages. So how can renewable energy help humanity? There are many ways to make use of these natural resources.
The largest renewable energy in Canada is hydroelectricity. Other regions that produce large amounts of hydroelectricity are British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. Bioenergy is a combination of different forms of usable energy. Biomass is biological material, but does not include organic material that has been transformed by geological processes. The use of wood in residential heating and cooking is widespread. The use of bioenergy is growing in Canada.