Renewable energy is a common term that refers to naturally occurring forms of energy that can be derived from wind, sun, rain, geothermal heat and other naturally occurring environmental sources. Easily accessible energy is a necessity of daily human life. The demand for it is ever-rising, posing a threat to its depletion and pushing the urge to explore alternative forms of energy.
Environmental effects of current energy sources
Science explains the simple logic of waste products being emitted as a result of producing energy, be it in liquid, solid or gaseous form. Some of these energy emissions are not environmentally friendly since they have adverse side effects on the environment, which in turn affects us and other forms of life on earth. These effects tend to be intensifying with the need to produce more energy to run our daily lives, thus causing more adverse effects that in the long run may far outweigh the benefits of such energy sources. Renewable energy is said to be a good alternative to conventional energy since it has nearly zero emissions while still producing good quantities of energy.
Renewable energy also has a tendency to naturally occur, eliminating the threat of its depletion. Some of these natural forms of energy do not really need much technology to be introduced into our homes as they are usually used in their natural forms. For example, we may use solar energy for cooking. Home-made solar cookers have saved millions of users who have embraced solar energy much money in electricity bills, as cooking appliances in the kitchen are known to consume more energy – and thus cost more. Solar energy installed into homes is also good for heating water and actually lighting up the house. Solar is a good and safe source of energy as it poses less threats in the instance of an electrical surge than electricity.
Renewable energy uses and examples
Most renewable energy sources, like solar energy, are readily available. The sun is everywhere, including remote areas, and usually easy to use. Solar energy installation involves the fastening of solar panels on the roof of buildings to trap the heat from the sun which is converted to usable solar energy by the panels and channelled into the buildings for various uses.
Wind energy is also a great form of natural energy as it produces a significant amount of energy whenever considered for use. It involves the installation of windmills which are turned into the direction of wind. This turns and spins the windmill's propellers, thus producing energy that can be used to pump water from boreholes, grind grains or be channelled to other useful forms.
Biogas is also a great source of renewable energy and can be used to improve methods of modern day farming. This kind of energy involves making use of animal and plant refuse by inducing decay in an enclosed chamber to produce energy in gaseous form.
Renewable energy for change
Renewable energy has its disadvantages, and it may not be applicable to all depending on their geological locations; solar energy may be a greater benefit to those who are located in areas with warm climate year round. Wind energy may also apply most to areas that are prone to be windy. However, this should not be a limiting factor for us to embrace these natural forms of renewable energy, especially since they can be applied both domestically and industrially, hence reducing the adverse climatic effects of mass energy consumption.