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Renewable Energy For Dummies

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If you’re reading this article, I think it’s safe to assume that you’re a bit of a newbie when it comes to renewable energies. Nowadays it’s highly usual to hear about this term in the daily news or newspapers, this industry is booming and it’s not going anywhere IT IS THE FUTURE OF THE ENERGY INDUSTRY! In this article, we are going to break it down for you and make you more knowledgeable about it.

What Is Renewable Energy?

 The best simple way to put it is that « Renewable Energy » stands for « Natural Resources ». So renewable energy resources are ways of obtaining energy through natural things we can find in our environment.

Since we’re running out of resources to continue using traditional methods of energy like fuel, for instance, science is switching to renewable energy as a response to this emerging problem.

 when investing in renewable energy two important key factors need to be considered by scientists, government, and the community: 

Renewable: meaning it must not depend on the consumption of limited resources such as fossil fuels

Sustainable: meaning Affordable, Accessible, Long term.

If you want to be a part of the conversation when it comes to making alternative energy a part of your life, either through your car, home or at work, you should have an understanding of some of the basic energy terminologies and the various alternatives energy sources.  

Alternative Energy Terms

If you want to understand what you read and hear about this subject then learning these basic terms about energy is a good place to get you started :

  • Alternative energy: Energy sources that don’t include fossil fuels or carbon-combustible products such as gasoline, coal, natural gas, and so on
  • BTU (British Thermal Unit): The basic unit of energy in the English system
  • Energy: The total amount of effort, or work, it takes to accomplish a certain task
  • Energy efficiency: The ratio of the useful work obtained from a process to the raw power taken to achieve that process
  • The first law of thermodynamics: A key physics principle stating that energy can neither be created nor destroyed (that is, energy is never used up; it simply changes forms)
  • Joule (J): The basic unit of energy in the international system
  • Power: The speed with which energy is being expended to achieve a task
  • Renewable energy: Forms of energy that constantly replenish themselves with little or no human effort
  • The second law of thermodynamics: The physics principle stating that the disorder of any closed system can only increase — that waste is unavoidable
  • Sustainable energy: Forms of energy that are not only renewable but also have the ability to keep Earth’s ecosystem up and running in perpetuity
  • Watt: Power is energy per time, and the standard unit of measurement is the watt. 
 

Sources of Alternative Energy

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Due to the growing demands of energy by a constantly growing population worldwide Coming up with alternatives is essential. This list is an overview of available alternative sources of energy:

 

Biofuels: Biofuels are made of biomass products and can be used to generate electric power as well as fuel transport. Crops and crop residues (particularly corn) are used to produce ethanol, a liquid commonly added to gasoline. Other grains such as wheat, rye, and rice are used to produce biofuels. Soybeans, peanuts, and sunflowers are used to make biodiesel fuel.
Biomass: Biomass is sawgrass, mulch, corn, and so on, that can be burned in raw form or processed into liquid fuels or solid fuels. Wood and grasses are directly combusted to provide heat for boilers which can drive turbines and produce electricity. Corn, animal waste, and wood pellets are burned in residential stoves to provide heat.
Electric vehicles: Electric vehicles use only electricity to power the drive train. The electricity comes from batteries or fuel cells.
Fuel cell-powered vehicles: Hydrogen fuel cells combine oxygen and hydrogen to produce water and electrical energy. The fuel cells are used to propel either an electric vehicle or a hybrid.
Fuel cells: Fuel cells produce electrical power from nothing more than hydrogen and oxygen, are completely free of carbon, and exhaust only water and heat.
Geothermal power: Heat from the earth is redistributed into a building or is used to generate electrical power.
Hybrid vehicles: Hybrid vehicles are a combination of electric and internal combustion power trains. When power requirements are low, the vehicle operates in electrical mode. When more power is needed, or when the electric batteries are near depletion, an internal combustion engine provides power.
Hydropower: Dams provide high-pressure water flows that spin turbines, thereby creating electricity. Hydropower can be used on both a macro and micro level.
Nuclear fission: Splitting atoms creates heat energy, which is used to generate electrical power.
Solar power: Solar power uses sunshine to create both heat and electricity, as well as passive heating and cooling effects in buildings.
Wind power:  refers to the process of creating electricity using the wind or air flows that occur naturally in the earth’s atmosphere. Modern wind turbines are used to capture kinetic energy from the wind and generate electricity.

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What Can I Do Now?

 

Acting about this issue can easily be overwhelming, to make a positive impact. We brought you some practical simple daily practices to get you started:

  • Use a solar-powered heating system.
  • Replace your clothes dryer with a clothesline instead.
  • Switch off your power points, and electronic devices when not in use.
  • Switch to LED bulbs they last long and lower your energy bills.
  • Don’t spend more than 5min in the shower.
  • Use public transport when you can, but if you must drive, invest in an electric car.
  • Work with renewables such as wind and solar panels.
  • Educate your mates!

The more you learn the more you get involved, the easier it becomes. Start being more energy conscious and you can contribute to changing the world for the better . Plus, not only you can save money but also the planet!

Don’t forget to educate your mates by sharing this article with them!

 

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