Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is produced from natural processes and resources that are constantly regenerating and replenishing themselves.

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet 

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Renewable energy is produced from natural processes and resources that are constantly regenerating and replenishing themselves.

 

This type of energy is inexhaustible and constantly renewing.

 

Renewable energy is not just restricted to solar energy. Geothermal plants gather heat from the earth to generate steam and produce electricity.

Hydroelectric dams exploit the movement of water to harness kinetic energy. New hydrokinetic technologies leverage on the ocean’s currents and tides. And burning renewable organic material that is derived from plants and animals, also known as ‘biomass’, to generate power may offer a sustainable use for agricultural and farming waste.

 

The key thing tying all of these technologies together is their ability to create electricity with minimal harmful side-effects, compared to fossil fuel alternatives.

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Image by Gabriel Jimenez

A variety of technologies are used to convert the aforementioned renewable resources into electricity. Cheap, clean, renewable sources of electricity are on the rise, while dirtier resources like coal are on their way out. 

 

What’s at stake is not just the input resources mix — it is the future of the planet. The power sector is a leading source of cancer-causing air pollution, and the nation’s second largest source of carbon dioxide. If we do nothing to reduce pollution, we condemn ourselves to facing the worst consequences of climate change.

 

But progress in reducing climate change is not easy. Entrenched special interest groups are fighting against renewable energy. Utilities are overbuilding natural gas infrastructure. Stakeholders are not being consulted. 

 

The choices we make now will live with us for generations.

 

Fortunately, there are solutions, and there is still time to act.