Renewable energy sources are climate protectors. They provide viable alternatives to fossil fuels such as petroleum, natural gas, and coal. We need these sources more than ever as our planet continues to warm.
The good news is that renewable energy is making promising gains in research, development, and implementation. New technologies and ambitious support policies have resulted in expanded markets for renewable energy alternatives.
Our list of the top seven sources proves that we can drastically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and continue to minimize our footprint in affordable and environmentally friendly ways. Once you’re on your way to getting a degree in environmental science, you’ll have a better idea of which specific field you want to enter.
- Solar Power: The sun is a powerful source of energy and also the most abundant. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that “173,000 terawatts of solar energy strikes the Earth continuously.” This amount of energy is enormous, and by using solar cells and solar thermal devices, we can greatly reduce the amount of pollutants released into the air.
- Wind Power: You might have noticed more wind farms popping up along highways and in agricultural areas. Wind is a fast-growing source of electric power and despite the comparatively little power it generates, wind provides “free fuel” for appliances and other electricity needs.
- Hydropower: Water is a powerful force and that generates clean energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Hydroelectric plants use water turbines to produce electricity in very efficient and effective ways.
- Geothermal Power: This type of power is generated by heat stored in the Earth. It is also homegrown, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels. Both cost effective and reliable, a large geothermal plant can power an entire city!
- Biomass Energy: Organic materials such as food crops and grasses as well as animal and human waste create biomass energy. Biomass stations can produce electricity and heating energy. It can also serve as a natural source of oil.
- Wave Power: Wave farms are a collection of wave harnessing machines that generate energy without emitting greenhouse gases. Few wave farms currently exist due to lack of funding, but there are a few in Portugal and Spain. However, new wave parks are scheduled for installation this year around the globe.
- Kite Power: A new player in the power generation industry, the Kite Wind Generator produces quite a bit of energy, as much as a nuclear plant. These generators are less expensive than wind turbines and supposedly cost less than fossil fuel generation plants. The kites fly at high altitude in order to produce electricity.
Check out the sites listed below to learn more about renewable energy sources and how your can help our planet become a green planet: