Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy sources are naturally replenished in our environment, NATURALLY.  The main sources of renewable energy in use globally are wind power, hydropower, solar energy, geothermal energy, biomass, and heat pump with hydro, wind and solar being the most widely used.  But lets talk about the most visible in our society, wind and solar.

Wind power is an extremely clean and viable way to produce electricity without the pollution of traditional methods.  Wind turbines are the most popular choice for commercial use, and it has been recognized that wind turbines “offshore” could generate much more power than on land given the wind speeds “offshore” are much higher than inland speeds.  The estimation for the benefits of wind power on a global scale are immense but the time and resources needed to make these estimations a reality are nearly as incredible.

Solar energy seems to be the most attainable and realized not only by companies but by individuals and households.  With more people in progressive mindsets that are investing in solar panels to supplement the power supply to their homes.  Architects and contractors are learning the value of solar energy.  It doesn’t have to be a roof filled with solar panels to make an impact on the environment.  A buildings infrastructure can aid in using the energy of our sun for heat in the winter and to minimize its power in the summer, even be utilized to heat the buildings water supply.  These simple changes to the way we build our ever expanding societies are known as “passive solar energies” like orienting a house to face south or an office building to have many south facing windows.  Also, a development that chooses to make these decisions to conserve energy are offered a tax break from the government (incentive!)

All processes to harness and distribute these renewable energy sources do still have negative environmental impacts, but in comparison to the brutal abuse of global industrialization it seems like a necessary cost to start repairing the damage. In 2013 wind power generated 3% of the worlds electrical power and solar energy a mere 1% this is not enough for how capable these methods are and for how great their estimated benefits could be.


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