What is Renewable Energy? "Renewable energy: Any energy resource that is naturally regenerated over a short time scale and derived directly from the sun, indirectly from the sun, or from other natural movements and mechanisms of the environment.” Non-renewable energy resource: an energy resource that is not replaced or is replaced only very slowly by natural processes.
Renewable energy usage in the last decade Since the year 2000 the amount of renewable energy used has gone up drastically. From a nearly immeasurable amount in 2000 to almost 10 million in 2008.
The Four Most Common Types
Uses wind turbines to create electricity
Uses heat from the earth’s core to create energy
Uses rays from the sun to create energy
Uses water to create energy
Wind Energy Converts wind to energy by using turbines and mills The modern wind power industry began in 1979 In 2009 159.2 gigawatts were produced world wide Has been used for 5,500 years Has a potential to generate 72 terawatts per year
Wind Energy in the U.S. The United States is the world leader in wind energy production Produced 35,159 megawatts in 2009 Texas produces more than any state with 9,728 megawatts captured in 2009 Employs 85,000 people in the U.S. Illinois produced 1,547 megawatts in 2009
Wind Energy Abroad Germany trails the U.S. by about 30% in total production Together the European Union produces over twice as much as the U.S. Map
Interesting Fact The world’s largest wind turbine is the E-126 first built in Emden, Germany E-126 can also be found in Belgium and Sweden It is 650 ft tall with a rotor diameter of 413 ft Built in 2007
Heat from the earths core is used to boil water which turns a turbine attached to a generator
Three ways to capture
Reservoirs are classified as being either low temperature (below 150°C) or high temperature (above150°C)
Geothermal in the U.S. The United States is the leader in geothermal energy usage There are approximately 77 plants across the U.S. Our country has the capacity to produce 3086 MW of energy today The heaviest concentration of geothermal plants is located in California Previously geothermal energy was only accessible near tectonic plate edges
Geothermal Across the Globe Over 24 countries use geothermal energy The Philippines is the number two producer Geothermal is Iceland’s main energy source Worldwide 10,715 MW of power are produced
Pro vs. Cons PROS Once installed it is very cheap to operate Not dependent on gas or electricity to provide heat Low emissions Green energy CONS Amount of land required Start up costs are expensive Lack of accessible sites
For every 328ft below the ground drilled, the temperature rises 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit
It is considered a renewable resource Geothermal got its name from the Greek words geo (earth) and therme (heat) Hot springs and geysers are natural examples of geothermal activity
Companies & Users The Geothermal Energy Association provides its members breaking news on the subject Mitsubishi: +80 different locations worldwide Sky Power Systems, GeothermEX Inc, and Mitsubishi Power Systems Inc. are the major plants in California
Solar Power Solar power is created by collecting sunlight and converting it into electricity This process is called photovoltaic or pv for short This is done by using solar panels, which are solar cells made from silicone that absorb the sun’s radiation Solar cells produce direct current electricity Can be used to power equipment or to recharge a battery
Pros and Cons of Solar Energy Pros No Pollution It does not burn fuel and generates no emissions Saves you Money You’ll be using less energy, so utility bills will be much lower and often nothing at all. TaxBreaks The U.S. government offers a tax credit Nearly Maintenance Free Manufacturers are offering warranties of 20 years Energy Credits You can build a credit of energy if your solar system produces more energy than you use The Noise Factor They are silent and have no moving parts. Cons
—The main disadvantage is the price. The panels and installation have high starting costs
Not 24 Hours
— They only work when the sun is shining
— Solar panels take up quite a bit of roof space and to some and aren’t pleasant to look at
America’s Potential for Solar Power You ask why not use solar energy since there are more pros than cons? Top states of potential solar energy New Mexico Arizona Nevada Utah California Solar Calculator American Solar Power
Water Power: as renewable energy +(Hydropower refers to process in which water is used as means to generate electricity.)+ Became widespread: 18th Century First to use: Greeks
United States: Hydropower Usage 81 % of our nations renewable electricity generation deriving from HydropowerIn the early part of the century hydroelectric plants supplied a bit less than one-half of the nation's power. (1940) Now 6-8% The old “Schoelkopf Power Station No. 1” near Niagara Fallsin the U.S. side began to produce electricity in 1881. By 1889 there were 200 Hydroelectricity plants within the U.S. Very few companies that make hydroelectric turbines, can be purchased/used to power homes, small businesses, and small scale farms.
Where the rest of the fits: Hydropower is to thank for 19% of total electricity production worldwide. China is the largest producer of hydroelectricity, followed by Canada, Brazil, and the United States –Energy Information Administration. Approximately 2/3 of the economic possible potential remains to be developed. Untapped hydro resources are still abundant in Latin America, Central Africa, India and China. In 1878, the world's first house to be powered with hydroelectricity was Cragside in Northumberland, Enlgand. New Zealand’s electricity is 80% renewable (mostly hydropower). In South America, overall about 40% of electrical generating capacity is hydroelectric. Brazil yielded a percentage of 86% in 1998. Over 50% yeilds of potential generating capacity for the following countries: Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela. In Chile, a $0.5 billion renewable energy project recently suspended due to controversy over relocating indigenous peoples. China’s Yangzte River projects are the world’s most ambitious due to motivation of two month death tolls of 3,000 dead, 5,000,000 homeless in a 1998 flood. Countries worldwide are doing extensive research as well as developing budget’s for such facilities.
Pro’s+V.S-Con’s: -37.8 million homes powered. -Renewable-saving fossil fuels.
Recreation opportunities on upstream reservoirs.
Habitat for a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial species
Diversion of water(irrigation), and control of destructive flooding and environmental damage downstream.
-Reducing your exposure to future fuel shortages/price increase. -Hydropower plays a major role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. - Potential destruction of land and wildlife habitat -High investment costs -Water Dependent
Fish entrainment or passage restriction (potential loss/modification of natural habitat).
-Can result in displacement of local populations
In Conclusion In conclusion renewable energy is a growing industry that not only benefits the businesses involved but also is good for reducing global warming and our dependence on fossil fuels. There are many types of renewable energy all of which have their own positives and drawbacks