The more of us that seek out renewable energy sources, and the earlier that we do it, the better for our planet. Fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas are predicted to run out by 2060. We do not have that many years to play with. Companies such as Florida Solar are doing their bit for the environment by offering solar panels for roofs. We should embrace these along with other renewable energy sources so that we continue to have a sustainable planet for future generations to live on. Whether those generations descend from our own family or others, everyone would want those in the future to enjoy what we have enjoyed, and hope to continue to enjoy once the pandemic has been brought under control. It is only human to want the best for our future generations.
So, we shall take a look at three renewable energy sources that are making a difference to our planet.
Solar Energy (Solar Panels)
The sun has now been used for centuries as a source of energy. It was used in a primate way as early as the 7th century B.C. because the Romans and Greeks were known to have harnessed its power when they used a mirror to light their torches during religious ceremonies. In a science lesson at school you no doubt remember directing the sun’s rays onto a piece of white paper and starting a fire. Well, technology has advanced so much that we can now power a whole house using the sun’s rays.
Solar panels on roofs work because they can absorb the energy from the sun and then convert it into DC electricity. This electricity can then power a range of electrical devices and appliances. One of the main drains on electricity is heating, and it is energy-efficient and cost-effective to use the electricity generated from solar panels for this purpose.
The science behind Solar PV panels is that they are comprised of small cells. PV stands for photovoltaic. This simply means that they convert sunlight into electricity. It is the electric field that will force drifting electrons to move in a certain direction. This is towards conductive metal plates that are lining the cell.
Sunlight is never used up and so considered a renewable energy source. It is not going to run out anytime soon. We can be quite precise on when it will because the sun will burn for approximately 9 to 10 billion years and it is currently halfway through its life.
So, it has to be everyone’s priority to convert as much of daily life as possible to solar-powered technology.
Wind Farms (Turbines)
The wind is also a renewable energy source. There is no sign that the weather will stop producing gusts of wind that power the vast propellors of on land and offshore wind farms.
The first wind turbine in a modern sense was built in Vermont, in the USA, during the 1940s. The largest one was built in Hawaii, USA. It is fair to say that wind energy is primarily harnessed using wind turbines.
Some environmentalists see wind turbines as a blot on the landscape, rather contradicting any environmental gains, but we have to balance the look of them with protecting our planet and lowering our carbon footprint. So, I think they are here to stay. Although, many will argue it is better to have a solar panel discretely fitted to a roof than look out to sea and see wind turbines looking far from natural.
Hydro Energy (Tidal)
Talking of the sea, water can also be used to create energy. Tidal flow is a powerful force that can be harnessed. Watermills are an example of the early use of water power to work machinery such as that used to grind corn.
Hyrdo power is now one of the most commercially developed renewable energy sources. A dam can be built and a larger reservoir used to control the flow of water which will then drive a turbine to generate electricity. One of the most reliable forms of hydro energy is tidal power because of the regular tides expected.
To conclude, the three main sources of renewable energy relate to natural situations. The sun that always shines, whether or not it is behind a cloud; the wind that blows enough to power wind turbines, wherever they may be situated; and the power of water that can be from any watercourse, although tidal power is proven to be the most reliable. We can all do our bit for the environment. From a domestic point of view, we can have fitted to our roofs a few solar panels to power our home. Business premises with a larger roof space can house more solar panels and so power much more, including industrial equipment. The financial and environmental savings are there to be made.