Renewable Energies Overview

Power and electricity has changed drastically over the last few centuries. Beginning with the simple burning of wood to create heat, light, and energy, humanity has come to harness the elements for their power to then churn into electricity. The dawn of the reusable energy era is beginning and numerous countries are jumping aboard the environmental train as the planet faces exacerbated threats from climate change. Humankind’s gluttony for electrical power consumption has left societies at a crossroads when it comes to supporting this modern need: either to make the change to using renewable energy sources or to continue using fossil fuels that are detrimental to the environment. The Earth’s climate varies all around the globe based upon a region’s latitude and longitude as well as its general geography. That said, there is no one-size-fits-all reusable energy resource.

Water

Roughly thirty-three percent of the land on the planet Earth is desert. This generally means that no more than 250 millimetres of rain falls there on an annual basis. Obviously, these regions are out of the question when it comes to harnessing water as a renewable energy resource. Those areas that do receive adequate rainfall are found near rivers and streams, lakes, and oceans. The standard tried-and-true method of harnessing water’s power has been done via the use of dams. A body of water, generally a river, is blocked by a large cement wall. This wall has a small area towards the bottom which water is forced into using gravity and the water’s own pressure. The water forced through the slot moves a turbine and this turbine’s energy from its movement is saved as potential energy, or energy that can be used later. Regions that use dams are located all over the world.

Solar

The sun’s heat packs a punch. A trip from Earth to the sun would measure over 149.5 million kilometres and, despite its distance, the sun is still responsible for heating the earth. Clearly, that is a lot of energy. This is also energy that is commonly harnessed. Solar energy is collected and used in areas that tend to lie between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, sometimes even a bit more north or south. The energy from the sun’s rays knocks away electrons, forcing them to move in a current; this energy is then converted into a battery or other power storage device. In a push for climate change mitigation, countries such as Australia are offering their residents energy deals. For instance, using a solar battery in South Australia can earn one a subsidy of up to $6000.00.

Wind

Wind turbines or windmills have been used throughout history. They first cropped up around 500 CE The movement of the windmill’s blades would correspond to a motor that would turn and then grind grain or pump water. Today, this same concept is used; however, instead of the motor affecting grain or water, its movement is converted into stored energy. These turbines tend to be set up on hills, plateaus, or valleys and at different angles so as to catch as much wind as is possible.