What are the Benefits of Renewable Energy?
When thinking about energy, many people will automatically think about the amount they pay on their bills rather than where it comes from. However, it is also beneficial to consider the benefits of renewable energy and how these can help individual households as well as society as a whole.
Types of Renewable Energy
Before understanding the positives that renewable energy can provide, it is necessary to understand what it means. An energy type falls under the renewable heading when it is capable of being replenished, even if this is not on an instant basis. Accordingly, it may take a certain amount of time to restock this source of energy, but it is able to be replenished and can be considered inexhaustible.
There are several different types of energy that can be considered renewable, which include solar, hydro, wind, geothermal and biomass (wood, wood waste, landfill gas, biogas and municipal solid waste, for example). These energy sources mostly make use of naturally occurring sources that can be harnessed in different ways in order to produce energy in varying quantities.
Solar power is generated by the sun’s rays being harnessed by solar panels, which is converted into electricity. Water is capable of producing electricity through its motion within hydroelectric dams. Wind energy is created by turbines being rotated by the gusts, which creates electricity. Geothermal energy is created by taking advantage of the natural heat generated by the earth’s core and its rise to the surface; this natural water heating method produces steam which powers steam turbines that, – in turn, – create electricity. Energy is also created through the burning of biomass fuels, which are mostly waste products from the timber and refuse industries; they tend to be burned in specialist plants that are designed to create electricity.
Renewable vs. Non-Renewable
Renewable energy differs from non-renewable sources of energy, such as nuclear power and fossil fuel, in that they are finite, which means they are limited in quantity. As a result, it is necessary to be prudent about conserving them.
Use of non-renewable energy sources are often detrimental to the environment, both as a result of using it and during extraction or creation.
Renewable energy can be used in place of non-renewable energy types and can achieve the same service without any loss of quality. It is important to put more emphasis on renewable energy for these reasons.
Benefits of Renewable Energy Sources
There are a number of renewable energy sources to choose from, which gives you more options when deciding how you want your home or workplace to be powered. This is beneficial as non-renewable energy becomes increasingly limited as the demand for energy across the world grows.
It can be generated in multiple ways to help ensure demand can be met, and is possible on a domestic or commercial basis. For example, a household can generate their own electricity with a solar panel on their roof or an entire field can be filled with solar panels to provide electricity for many properties within a large region.
Being able to get the cheapest green electricity is one of the main benefits of renewable energy. Rather than continually paying bills and being beholden to utility providers that set the rates for the cost of the energy, it is possible to take advantage of nature.
Using renewable energy sources can help you save money as you will only need to lay out money for the hardware and installation of your chosen method. For example, solar panels or a wind turbine can be installed on your roof or in your garden, which will then generate electricity. Thereafter, there will be no need to pay bills every month as the equipment will produce the electricity instead of you needing to buy it.
In some cases where there is an excess of electricity produced, it may be possible to sell it back to the National Grid. As a result, this will not only allow you to save money but can also make you money.
Many types of renewable energy are cleaner options than fuels that need to be burned to produce energy; use of them will help you to maintain the environment. It allows nature to work as it should do to keep the earth healthy; for example, the increased use of renewable energy means less trees will need to be cut down, which will then remain in place to filter the air and reduce pollution levels.
Renewable energy allows you to avoid relying on limited resources that come with the risk of being unreliable.
Indirect Benefits of Renewable Energy
Thinking about the types of renewable energy available can have other benefits, such as making you think about your energy consumption and the effect this has. Though you will be less concerned about the need to conserve all types of renewable energy because they won’t run out, they are still likely to make you think about your energy use.
You will be more likely to consider ways to conserve energy in other areas of your life, such as making a point of choosing energy efficient appliances for your home or, choosing a hybrid or electric car, or choosing to cycle or walk more often. You may think about reducing your use of energy altogether, for example, by insulating your home and using strategically planted trees in your garden to lessen the need for heating and cooling.
When you recognize the importance of renewable energy, this is more likely to make you point it out to other people and encourage them to follow your example.
By trying to find the cheapest green electricity, you will start to recognize how global warming is affecting the world, especially less developed countries, and what can be done to reverse the problem.