As our planet's nonrenewable resources continue to diminish, the search for sustainable energy solutions becomes increasingly important. Transitioning to renewable energy sources will help us to support our growing population while providing a cleaner environment for future generations. However, transitioning to renewable energy does not come easily. There are a number of challenges involved, and not all sustainable solutions are applicable in all circumstances. For example, the effectiveness of wind energy depends on its location and climate. In order to produce maximum wind energy, wind farms are best placed in the Midwest, Texas region, and offshore.
Biomass was the primary source of energy throughout most of human history, mainly used for heating and feeding animals. With the rise of fossil fuels, renewable energy became less common. However, it remained widely used for heating rural homes and supplemental heat in urban areas. The use of biomass as an energy source increased in the mid-1980s, and incentives were introduced to encourage more people to switch to renewable energy. Today, renewable energy sources are used in a number of ways, ranging from small-scale to large-scale facilities.
In the United States, there are several policies that encourage renewable energy usage. One such policy is the renewable portfolio standard, which requires electric utilities to source and deliver renewable energy by a specific date. These standards can be ambitious or modest, depending on the type of renewable energy. The cost of solar and wind renewable energy technologies has decreased dramatically over the last decade. By 2020, almost two thirds of net additions to power capacity will be from renewables. The use of renewables can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs, and improve energy security. The cost of renewable energy sources will also decrease as the demand for renewable energy technologies grows, as well as reduces costs through economies of scale.
Wind and hydroelectric power plants are two of the most common sources of renewable energy in Canada. While the UK is a pioneer in using wind energy for energy production, many other countries have also switched to renewable energy sources. Large hydroelectric dams, particularly in developing countries, have historically been the source of hydroelectric power. China's Three Gorges Dam and the Brazilian Itaipu Dam are two of the most famous hydroelectric plants in the world.
Wind energy is a rapidly growing energy source, contributing about 20 percent of all electricity produced in the UK. Wind turbines also generated 60 percent of the country's power in August 2020, which was a record for wind energy. Solar energy, on the other hand, depends on the sun and is the simplest form of renewable energy to produce. It requires no special equipment and is often accompanied by solar panels. These sources of renewable energy have the potential to revolutionize our energy supply.
As a renewable energy source, solar and wind energy generate electricity at the utility-scale. They have the potential to add more than one-eighth of the nation's electricity. And this is only the beginning. As renewable energy grows in importance, our electricity grid will need to change to accommodate its growing demand. This means a lot of modernization to accommodate this new energy source. So, becoming a Clean Energy Champion is an excellent way to make a difference.
Solar, wind, and hydropower are all examples of renewable energy. Wind turbines, for example, convert the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical energy that can be used to grind rain and turn generators. Another type of renewable energy is sustainable energy, which derives its energy from resources that are sufficient to sustain current operations and do not threaten future climates. Hydropower, solar energy, and geothermal power are just a few of the many examples of sustainable energy.
Other renewable energy resources include biomass and geothermal energy. While geothermal energy is a renewable resource, it requires large amounts of freshwater to generate steam. This can be problematic in areas where freshwater is scarce. Biomass is organic material derived from plants and animals. It is used for cooking, lighting, and space heating. Many biomass feedstocks can be converted into electricity using steam turbines. So, if you are looking for a renewable energy source, this could be the best option for you.
Geothermal energy is another type of renewable energy source that has some promising results. This resource produces heat and electricity from decaying radioactive particles in deep inside the earth. This source is especially promising in the context of the United Kingdom as it can be used for both direct heat and electricity generation. Enhanced geothermal systems use advanced drilling techniques and fluid injection techniques. They can be combined with storage solutions for both electricity and heat. The potential for geothermal energy is considerable, but it is not always viable on its own.