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Renewable Energy Resources

By Author: Sherry Roberts
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Abstract
Most regions globally are still heavily dependent traditional sources of energy as oil, coal and natural gas for their energy demands. The issue, however, is that these fossil fuels are nonrenewable implying that they draw on the finite resources that are going to eventually dwindle, becoming too expensive and too environmentally damaging to continue with their retrieval. On the contrary, most types of renewable energy resources as the solar energy and the winds are continuously replenished, making it impossible for them to run out. The majority of the renewable energy comes directly from the sun, with the solar energy from the sun being used to directly heat and light homes as well as other buildings. Overall, the paper is going to conduct an overall assessment of the renewable energy resources and the benefits of their use.
Renewable Energy
Renewable energy refers to the energy that is generated from natural resources like the wind, sunlight, tides as well as geothermal heat, with the main element being that they are renewable and thus naturally replenished. The renewable technologies range from technologies like wind power, solar power, biomass, hydroelectricity as well as biofuels for transportation (US energy information administration, n.d). The generation of renewable energy is from the natural processes that are continuously replenished. The core sources of renewable energy include;
Solar
Overall, the biggest source of renewable energy is either directly or indirectly from the sun. Sunlight or solar energy is used directly for heating and lighting homes along with the other buildings in the generation of electricity as well as for hot water heating, solar cooling and a variety of commercial and industrial. The main advantages associated with the solar energy include the fact that it is possibly infinite in supply as well as the fact that single dwelling can have their one electricity supply (40 Years of Advanced Energy Innovation, n.d). The disadvantages, on the other hand, include the fact that the manufacture, as well as implementation of solar energy, can be a costly endeavor.
Wind
The heat from the sun also drives the winds whose energy is captured with the wind turbines. The movement of the earth also adds to the generation of these winds, especially through the Coriolis Effect. The advantages associated with the wind as a source of renewable energy source is the fact that it can be singularly be found especially in the wind farms as well as the fact that its supply is possible infinite (PennstateExtension, n.d). The disadvantages, on the other hand, revolve around the fact that the manufacture, as well as implementation of the winds farms, is an expensive undertaking along with the fact that some of the local people object the onshore wind farms as they tend to spoil the countryside (PennstateExtension, n.d).
Biomass
In addition to the rain and snow, sunlight results in the growth of plants and the organic matter that comprises these plants are referred to as biomass. Biomass can be used in the production of electricity, chemicals or transportation fuels. The utilization of biomass for these purposes is the component that is referred to as biomass energy. Biomass has energy that is stored from the sun, with the absorption of energy from the sun through photosynthesis (PennstateExtension, n.d). Once biomass is burned, the chemical energy is released in the form of heat.
Some of the benefits associated with the production of biomass are the fact that it is a cheap as well as a rapidly available energy source. Further, it follows that is replaced; biomass can be a long term source if a sustainable source of energy. The disadvantages, however, include the fact that when it is burned, it produced atmospheric pollutants that include greenhouse gases (US energy information administration, n.d). Further, production of biomass is only possible when crops are replanted after they have been cut to produce the energy.
Geothermal
The assertion however is that not all the renewable energy sources are from the sun, with geothermal; power being the type of renewable energy that is tapped from the earth’s internal heat for diverse uses. Some of these uses include the production of electric power as well as the heating and cooling of buildings (US energy information administration, n.d).
Benefits linked with geothermal as a renewable source of energy include the fact that it is a possibly infinite source of energy supply and that it is used successfully to produce energy in some countries as Iceland and New Zealand. The disadvantages, however, include the fact that it is an expensive investment on the setting up and that it works in areas that have volcanic activity. Further, it follows that the geothermal, as well as volcanic activity, could calm down, which would leave the power stations redundant (US energy information administration, n.d). The additional danger associated with the elements found in underground have to be disposed of carefully.
Hydrogen
Hydrogen as the additional source of renewable energy is found in numerous organic compounds and water. It is one of the most abundant elements on earth. Because energy is always necessary for the production of hydrogen, it is not a source of energy but a mode of storing as well as transporting, the main reason it is referred to as an energy carrier (40 Years of Advanced Energy Innovation, n.d). When combined with oxygen in a fuel cell, hydrogen is used in the production of electricity and heat with water vapor as the core byproduct. It can be made by directly from the fossil fuels or biomass and in other cases produced by passing electricity through water and breaking the water into its constituent components of hydrogen and oxygen. Most of the hydrogen used today is from the steam reforming natural gas (40 Years of Advanced Energy Innovation, n.d).
Ocean
The ocean produces thermal energy from the heat from the sun as well as mechanical energy from the waves and tides. The advantages of the ocean as a source of energy include the fact that it has the potential of generating a lot of energy and that the construction of the barrage can also be used as a bridge, helping in the prevention of flooding (US energy information administration, n.d). The disadvantages, on the other hand, include the fact that the construction of barrage is a costly undertaking and that there are only a few estuaries that are found as being suitable. There is the additional issue of opposition from environmentalists who assert that it has negative impacts on the wildlife and that it could reduce the tidal flow, thus impeding the flow of sewage out to the sea (40 Years of Advanced Energy Innovation, n.d)
Hydropower
The flowing water produces energy that can be tapped and turned into electricity. It is referred to as the hydroelectric power. Overall, hydropower is the largest source of renewable energy used to generate electricity in the US, with the year 2015 seeing the hydropower accountable for 6% of the total US electric generation and 46% of all the electricity generated from renewable resources (US energy information administration, n.d).
The main benefit of hydropower includes the fact that it created water reserves as well as energy supplies. The disadvantages, on the other hand, include the fact that it is an expensive undertaking and that can result in flooding of the surrounding communities as well as landscapes. The additional disadvantages follow that dams have significant ecological effects on the local hydrology (US energy information administration, n.d).



References
40 Years of Advanced Energy Innovation (n.d). Learning about Renewable Energy
PennstateExtension (n.d). What is Renewable Energy?
US energy information administration (n.d) Renewable energy explained.

Carolyn Morgan is the author of this paper. A senior editor at Melda Research in Reliable Essay Writing Service if you need a similar paper you can place your order for a custom research paper from Trustworthy Custom Essay Writing Service.

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