There are many clean sources of energy that harness natural processes and are considered to be renewable and environmentally friendly. These sources help negate the effects of pollution mainly because they are not depleting any natural resources in order to create the energy. Although there are several large scale clean energy projects, renewable technology is also suitable for small off grid applications even in remote and rural areas where energy is vital in human development. Whereas traditional non-renewable energy sources such as oil and coal are limited to certain geographic locations only, renewable sources of energy are spread widely across the world.
1. Solar power
PV (photovoltaic) solar power entails harnessing the energy of the sun to produce electricity. This source of energy has been gaining immense popularity especially over the past decade mainly because new technologies are emerging at a very rapid pace. Moreover, solar cells are becoming easily transportable, more efficient and flexible allowing for easy and convenient installation. Solar power can be used to power small sized applications powered by one solar cell to off grid homes that are powered by photovoltaic arrays.
2. Wind power
Wind power is harnessed using wind turbines which convert wind energy into useful form such as mechanical energy or electricity. Large scale wind farms can be connected to local power transmission networks and smaller turbines can be used to provide electricity or mechanical energy to isolated areas. Some residential units are capable of powering entire homes and large appliances depending on the size. Wind farms that have been installed in grazing areas or agricultural land have the lowest environmental impact.
This form of clean energy is generated by hydropower which is the production of energy using the gravitational force of flowing or falling water. Hydropower is the most widely used form of clean energy. Moreover, hydroelectric complex projects do not produce any direct waste. Micro-hydro power or small scale hydro power is becoming an increasingly popular source of alternative energy especially in atlanta ga location. Micro-hydro power systems can be easily installed in rivers or streams without disrupting fish migration and also without any discernible environmental effect. In most cases, small scale hydro power projects use water wheels to generate the electricity rather than dams.
4. Geothermal energy
Geothermal power is a very efficient and powerful way of extracting renewable energy from the earth using natural processes. This can be done on a small scale in order to provide energy and heat for residential units (geothermal heat pumps) or on large scale through geothermal power plants. Geothermal energy is reliable, environmentally friendly and cost effective but was previously limited to areas near the boundaries of tectonic plates. However, technological development has dramatically expanded the size and range of viable resources for direct applications like home heating.
Biomass is a clean energy source that mainly refers to the recently dead and living material that is used for industrial production and also as fuel. Therefore, biomass in this case refers to the plant matter that is grown and used to produce electricity. This includes trash such as yard clippings, branches, dead trees, and wood chips bio-fuel. It also includes animal or plant matter that is used for production of heat and fiber. Biomass is converted to various energy sources such as ethanol and methane gas.
Renewable sources of energy such as biomass, wind, and solar energy can be used in order to cut the harmful emissions from oil and coal. On the other hand, renewable energy is a viable alternative mainly because the initial investment of clean energy sources can be recovered over a short amount of time.