If you’re looking for green energy options without having to install your own solar panels or wind turbines, we can help. We offer access to renewable energy options like solar power, tidal power, bio-power, geothermal energy and hydropower.
These renewables generate electricity with low to zero greenhouse gas emissions. And they require less maintenance than traditional generators.
Solar power is a renewable energy source that relies on sunlight to generate electricity. Unlike traditional fossil fuels, it isn’t polluting the environment and can be used over and over again.
The sun’s radiant energy can be used to power everything from calculators and road signs to homes and large commercial buildings. It can also be used to heat water or run concentrating solar power systems. Solar energy is a safe and clean alternative to traditional forms of power, and it can be used in places that cannot easily channel energy from the grid (such as remote off-grid regions).
Like wind and biomass, solar is a sustainable resource that helps reduce our dependence on finite fossil fuels. In addition, the use of solar technology can significantly improve the quality of life in areas that lack access to reliable electricity sources. This is a problem that affects millions of people around the world, including Sub-Saharan Africa, where 90% of the population lives without access to energy.
In addition, solar energy is a cost-effective solution for those who want to reduce their utility bills. In the United States, solar energy is supported by a variety of government tax credits and incentives for both homeowners and businesses. Additionally, many states, such as California, offer generous solar energy rebates for home owners that install their own renewable energy systems.
Solar energy is not without its drawbacks, though. For one, it is not reliable at night, and it can only be used if the sun is out. However, this can be solved by installing battery backups that store the energy during the day to be used at night. Additionally, solar panels can be expensive to purchase and install. Moreover, they don’t produce as much power during cloudy or rainy days.
Wind energy is one of the world’s most important alternative energy sources. It is a renewable, clean, and efficient power source that produces zero emissions and can be harnessed to provide a substantial portion of our electricity.
The kinetic energy of the wind is converted into usable electricity using a turbine, which spins a generator to produce electric power. A small wind turbine can produce enough energy for a household to meet its energy needs. Large wind farms are more powerful and can generate enough electricity to supply a city or town.
A growing number of countries are investing in wind power to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and their associated environmental costs. From 2007 to 2016, global installed wind capacity quintupled and is now one of the fastest growing energy sources.
In addition to being environmentally friendly, wind power provides reliable baseload generation, and can be stored for use when the wind is not blowing. Wind energy also does not require water for cooling, whereas nuclear and coal plants need large amounts of water for cooling purposes.
As a bonus, wind power is also inexpensive and readily available. In fact, it is so cheap that some homeowners are installing their own wind turbines to supplement their energy needs.
However, there are a few disadvantages to this alternative. For example, wind turbines are often located in remote locations and can cause local opposition. Additionally, wind turbines may kill wildlife when their rotor blades strike birds or bats. While the industry works to minimize this problem, there is still a risk that these animals are being killed. The National Audubon Society supports wind energy, but only if the sites are properly sited to avoid impacting migrating bird populations and vital wildlife habitats.
Biofuels are renewable sources of energy that can be used to replace fossil fuels. They are made from plant and animal materials that are grown and burned to produce heat, electricity or liquid fuels. They are an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels, as they can be grown again once the raw materials have been used up and they can be produced locally.
Ethanol and biodiesel are the two most common types of biofuel in use today. Ethanol is produced from corn, wheat, sorghum, barley or other grains and is used in vehicles to produce electricity or as a substitute for gasoline. Biodiesel is made from oil-rich plants (such as soya, palm or rapeseed) and other organic waste materials including waste cooking oils and animal fats. It can be used in diesel engines to make them more environmentally friendly, or it can be blended with petroleum diesel fuel.
Some types of biofuels, known as second-generation biofuels, are being developed that can be produced from non-food crops or waste material. These are being produced using cellulosic ethanol or biomass-based Fischer-Tropsch technology. The advantage of this type of biofuel is that it can be produced with much lower production costs than traditional ethanol and fossil fuels, making it an economically viable alternative.
Third-generation biofuels are being developed that are derived from algae and other aquatic plants with high lipid content. These are being produced by using technologies such as photosynthesis, cyanobacteria fermentation and other methods to create fuels similar in composition to petroleum diesel. They can be produced on land that is unsuitable for other purposes and with water that cannot be used for food production.
Geothermal energy takes advantage of the natural heat that’s stored beneath the Earth’s surface. It supplies power around the clock, produces few greenhouse gases and requires a very small footprint to develop and use. But backers say it needs public support to reach its full potential. That could include guaranteed loans for well-drilling, regulatory overhauls and workforce investments. Some states with large geothermal resources are already pushing for it to supply a proportion of their clean energy.
Geothermal power plants can be categorized into four broad types. The oldest are dry steam plants, which pull steam directly from fractures in the rock to drive a turbine. Newer “flash” plants pump hot water that’s under high pressure into tanks held at lower pressure, causing some of the water to evaporate rapidly and drive the turbine. The remaining water is recirculated to extract more energy. Binary plants take a different approach, using hot water that’s passed through a secondary fluid with a lower boiling point than water to turn it into steam and drive a turbine.
The fourth type of geothermal plant uses fluids that circulate underground in sealed pipes or boreholes, absorbing heat from the surrounding rock and producing electricity through conduction. Startup companies that draw on expertise from the oil and gas industry are amping up this type of technology.
Geothermal power is a great complement to wind and solar. It’s renewable, which means it’ll last for billions of years, and can provide always-on, baseload power. And it’s a very efficient energy source, producing up to 80% of its potential energy output. The global installed geothermal capacity, dispersed across 29 countries, grew by more than half in 2019. That’s the highest of any renewable energy source.
The kinetic energy of moving water is the energy source behind hydropower. This energy is converted into electricity by turbines and generators at hydropower plants. Unlike fossil fuels, which must be mined, processed and burned to produce electricity, the energy in flowing water is free. It’s also renewable, which means that it will always be available.
While most people picture large hydro power plants (HPPs) like the Hoover Dam when they think of hydropower, it is important to note that hydropower can come in all shapes and sizes. Small hydropower systems may utilize the kinetic energy of falling water to power homes, schools and businesses in rural locations. They can be “damless,” using diversion dams to channel part of a river into a powerhouse before it rejoins the main river, or even use ocean current technologies like turbines anchored to the bottom of the sea floor or suspended from a buoy in the Gulf Stream to generate energy from ocean waves.
Although hydropower does create some greenhouse gases, it is far less than the amount of greenhouse gases created by burning coal or natural gas. In fact, independent research shows that the use of hydropower avoids 100 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year, more than the total avoided by nuclear energy and wind energy combined.
Despite this, hydropower is not a perfect solution to our energy needs. It requires a huge amount of land to build dams that stop the flow of water, which can have significant environmental impacts, as well as being an expensive form of power. However, it remains a key part of the energy mix in many nations, especially developing ones. Hydropower provides a stable, renewable source of energy that is often used to support wind and solar power at times when these sources cannot provide as much energy.