What is Renewable Energy, and How is it Different Than Other Energy?
We've all heard the term, 'renewable energy' thrown around, but what does it really mean? How is that different than traditional energy?
Traditional energy, otherwise known as 'dirty energy', is the energy thats source comes from fossil fuels. There are three main fossil fuels that provide the vast amount of electricity in the United States: coal, oil, and natural gas.These traditional sources of electricity are more abundant today because renewable resources have had higher costs throughout history.
Up until now fossil fuels were the cheapest way to power all of the country. The landscape is now changing with the advancements in technology and towards renewables. The issue with the traditional sources of electricity is that the supplies are limited, at some point we will run out of the earth’s supply of coal, oil, and natural gas. No one knows when this will happen but in long term we need an alternative. Additionally, the traditional sources of electricity have caused an immense amount of damage to the planet. These sources cause damage to the air when the fuels are burned and to the land when the sources are being extrapolated from the earth.
When fossil fuels are burnt, either at a power generation plant or from your car, carbon dioxide is released. An increase in the carbon dioxide levels of the earth leads to polluted air and increases the earth's temperature levels, leading to a vast amount of issues like rise in seawater and increase intensity of storms. When coal is extracted from the earth they sometimes use a technique called mountaintop removal. They shave off layers of mountains to have better access to the fossil fuels underneath. This destroys rivers, forests, and mountains while also leaving the land scarred.
Renewable energy sources
Renewable energy sources are abundant and have an unlimited life. The renewable sources are solar, wind,geothermal, and hydro power. This power comes from earth's natural forces the sun, the wind, and flowing rivers. This type of energy has minimal negative impact on the environment.
One issue with certain renewable energy resources, such as solar energy, is that there is no way to store this energy. In other words, at night when there is no sun, you can’t get any solar energy so you aren’t guaranteed energy 24/7. It is tough to become solely dependant on solar energy unless there is a way to store enough energy incase there is no sun for a significant amount of time.There have been great advancements in the energy storage field, but to store enough energy to power New York city for 6 hours would nearly impossible at this point.
Right now, we need to increase the amount of renewable energy generation facilities that we have while shutting down the worst traditional sources (coal powered plants). As technology develops we will be able to fully rely on renewable resources to get our power.
Renewable energy is clearly a better choice- it's great for the environment and is infinite! To start choosing renewable energy in your home or business today, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.