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Why Renewable Energy? A General Overview

Many people already know about renewable energy. These use it everyday to illuminate tress, home, flag etc which is known as landscaping spotlights. These alternative energy sources provide a practical and reliable way for people to fuel society. It powers cities, industries, communities, residents, and businesses. Our world would be a very different place if it were not for renewable energy sources. Since this form of energy is so important, let’s take an in-depth look at renewable energy and discover why people need this form of technology.

The History of Renewable Energy

solar panel for renewable energy

Renewable energy sources have been around for a very a long time. A simple definition of renewable energy is being able to repeatedly use a power source without end. Some renewable energy sources include the sun’s energy, wind from the air, hydropower from water and geothermal energy from the Earth. Each of these different types of alternative energy sources will be discussed in detail later in the article.

The ancient Egyptians used mirrors to capture sunlight to provide illumination deep inside of their underground tunnels, tombs, and structures. Ancient sailors harnessed the power of the wind to move their ships around the world. Throughout the millennia farmers eventually figured out how to harness the wind to improve food productions. This natural force was harnessed by windmills to create mechanical power for grinding grains.

There is even historical and archaeological proof that ancient man was able to manipulate hydropower from rivers and the ocean to power archaic machinery. The point is that renewable energy sources have always been around in one form or another.

Remember, ancient people were not using electricity and gasoline like we do today. They had to use fire to heat and illuminate their homes, horses and other pack animals for transportation and they used hydropower for irrigation or to supply water to villages or towns.

A problem came when people figured out how to use non-renewable energy sources to power their lives. The steam energy was used from coal which eventually gave way to electricity. Oil and natural gas were eventually used to power homes, buildings and vehicles. All of these fuel sources were more practical to use than renewable energy. Eventually, renewable energy sources started to lose ground and fossil-based non-renewable sources became king.

Non-Renewable Energy vs Renewable Energy

Fossil-based fuel sources took over the world during the 19th century. It was during this era that steam, electricity, and gasoline emerged to become the primary power sources. Fossil fuels are non-renewable sources. They are deposits in the Earth that will eventually be depleted. There are some key fuel sources that are derived from fossil fuels. These key fuel sources make it difficult for renewable energy to gain widespread use.

Gasoline engines were built late in the 19th century. Keep in mind that gasoline is derived from crude oil. Since societies need transportation, then oil became a hot commodity. Most vehicle engines take some form of fossil fuel to power. While alternative energy vehicles do exist (solar cars and hydro engines) they were not practical to use.

The transportation industry grew up on fossil fuel sources. As a result, there is a ton of infrastructure that supports this type of fuel. Society cannot switch over to an alternative energy based transportation system unless the present infrastructure was changed over to handle this change.

The same is true for electricity. This power source was first used during the late 1800s to power structures and society. However, widespread use of electricity did not happen until 1925. By that time, half of all homes in America had electricity. Once again, when the electricity industry was being manufactured it was coal, natural gas, and petroleum that was used to provide this power. As a result, the modern power grid is designed for fossil-based fuels.

Since transportation and structures require non-renewable fuels, it is hard for people to understand why society cannot use renewable energies for this process. The fact is that renewable energy will disrupt our society on an economic, social and practical scale. We simply cannot exchange these fuel sources overnight.

Unfortunately, alternative fuel sources must be slowly integrated into society. This is what is happening now. It would literally take trillions of dollars to completely switch over our current fuel system to something new. Once again, alternative fuel sources are gaining ground. At this point, they simply cannot displace fossil fuel sources. Our society is just too dependent on them.

Ultimately, when it comes to renewable energy sources competing with fossil-based fuels; they will lose hands down. Still, that does not mean that alternative fuel sources are not important. Alternative fuel sources are going to power society well into the future. If people are smart, they will start to take advantage of these fuel sources now because they can save them money and provide an unlimited supply of power.

The Best Benefits for Alternative Fuel Sources

Renewable energy sources truly have their advantages. First, let’s take a look at the different types of renewable energy sources and how they work. Then, we’ll discuss the advantages that each type has.

Solar Power

Solar power is probably the best-known renewable energy source in existence. This energy source uses silicon panels to produce electricity from sunlight. The bigger the panels, the more electricity that it produces. Keep in mind that there are various forms of silicon materials that can be used for solar panel fabrication. Large-scale solar panels that are used to provide electricity to cities typically have panels the size of houses to provide electricity to fuel a city.

Speaking of which, there are many solar farms that are used to provide electricity to cities, homes, and businesses on a large scale. A solar farm is a collection of large-scale solar panels that produce a huge amount of electricity. Also, many residential homeowners are implementing this technology during the building process or it is being included in existing residential structures. Outdoor solar lights are most common now a days.

There are also solar powered gadgets and devices such as calculators, lights, and battery chargers. Solar power watches, radios, and even laptops are available as well. We already mentioned that solar cars exist. The fact is that solar power is slowly growing. It now accounts for 15% of all electricity production within society. By the year 2100, it is expected to provide at least 50% (or maybe more) of the world’s electricity.

Wind Energy

Wind energy is another great form of renewable energy. This energy source works through the power of wind turbines. These items are seen all over society and look like helicopter blades attached to large poles. Wind turbines create electricity. Like solar energy, they power homes and businesses. There are also large-scale turbine farms that are used to power cities. Residential and business turbines can be set up to power small-scale structures as well. Turbines are not as versatile as solar panels, but they are just as effective on a large-scale basis.

Hydropower

Oceans, rivers, and dams can all create hydropower. This power source is derived from using millions of gallons of water to generate mechanical energy which turns gears to produce electrical power. Hydropower is typically used to provide energy to coastal cities and substitute electrical output to cities that are located near water sources.

Geothermal Production

The Earth has hot pockets that produce a great deal of heat and energy. This source of power is used to warm homes by capturing this energy or it can be harnessed to produce electricity. Geothermal production is made possible by setting up production plants where the energy is located. The energy is then harnessed from these plants. Geothermal energy is used to power communities and towns that are located near the geothermal sites. However, this is not a widespread renewable energy source.

In closing, renewable energy sources are a viable solution of any outdoor lighting like outdoor solar yard lighting. However, they cannot replace non-renewable energy sources at this time. Once again, they are being slowly integrated into society and will eventually replace fossil-based fuels in the future. Until that time, renewable energy sources are best suited as a backup energy source and as a means of lowering electrical energy costs for homes and businesses. Renewable energy sources are not going anywhere. They will forever be a part of the world’s energy sources that will move societies and power lives.

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