In this article, we will discuss renewable energy sources in more depth, starting from the definition to examples of the most commonly used renewable energy sources.
What are Renewable Energy Sources
Reporting from the Ministry of Education and Culture website, renewable energy sources are energy sources that are available by nature and will not run out because they are formed from sustainable natural processes.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) also expressed the same understanding, which states that renewable energy is energy that comes from natural processes that is continuously replenished, as reported on the PLN Institute of Technology website.
Daily human life can be highly dependent on the energy used to meet daily needs such as lighting, cooking and transportation. By using renewable energy sources such as solar energy to produce electricity or wind energy to drive turbines, humans can meet energy needs without damaging the environment.
In short, renewable energy is an energy source that can be renewed quickly and does not damage the environment.
Types of Renewable Energy Sources
Reporting from the Nestle page, here are some of the most common types of renewable energy sources.
Hydropower energy or hydropower is energy obtained by flowing water, such as processing mechanical or potential energy from waves or the rise and fall of water flow. Hydropower is usually found in rivers, seas and dams.
Water energy processing does not produce pollution and can be used for large and small scale plants.
2. Solar Energy
Solar energy or solar energy is obtained by converting energy from solar radiation into heat, electricity or hot water. Additionally, photovoltaic (PV) systems can convert sunlight directly into electricity through the use of solar cells.
The advantage of solar energy is that it is unlimited because it can be harvested at any time as long as there is sunlight. Using solar panels at the household level can also reduce electricity costs.
3. Wind Power
Wind energy utilizes kinetic energy from moving air to rotate wind turbines. Not only placed on windy plains, wind energy has now been installed offshore with taller turbines and larger rotor diameters.
Wind energy does not emit pollution or substances that are harmful to the environment. Even so, wind energy is more suitable for installation in remote locations.
Geothermal energy utilizes heat energy from the earth’s interior which is extracted from geothermal reservoirs using wells or various other methods.
Considering that geothermal energy can be built underground, the carbon footprint left behind is very small. Geothermal energy can also be renewed so there is no risk of running out.
Biomass energy or bioenergy is a form of energy that comes from biomass or organic materials, such as plants and newly living organisms.
Biomass energy processing can be obtained from burning biomass, utilizing methane, and natural decomposition of organic materials.
Benefits of Renewable Energy
Following are some of the benefits that can be obtained if the country is able to maximize the use of renewable energy sources properly and correctly.
1. Reducing Global Warming
The first benefit is that it can reduce global warming. In fact, its use does not cause pollution to the environment, including the risk of the greenhouse effect.
However, this can be achieved as long as the use of renewable energy sources does not involve exploitation such as extracting and processing petroleum.
2. Environmentally Friendly
Renewable energy sources use natural resources that are environmentally friendly so they can reduce negative impacts on the environment and human health.
3. Abundant Energy Sources
The next benefit is that renewable energy sources have abundant availability and can be exploited as fully as possible by humans. This will produce large amounts of power in the long term, thus reducing concerns about the exhaustion of energy sources to support human activities.
4. Reduce dependence on fossil energy
Utilizing renewable energy sources can reduce dependence on fossil energy, which is increasingly difficult to find and more expensive, thereby increasing energy independence.
5. Increase Energy Access
Renewable energy sources can provide wider energy access to the community, especially in remote areas that are not yet reached by conventional energy networks.
6. Improve the Quality of Life
The use of renewable energy sources can significantly improve the quality of human life by reducing negative impacts on human health and the environment.
7. Improve Human Health
Utilization of renewable energy sources can also reduce pollution levels which will ultimately have an impact on improving public health. Humans and animals get an ideal environment to live because there is no more pollution, dirty air, noise, soil pollutants, water flow pollution, radiation and so on.
8. Save Resources and Money
Renewable energy sources can be very potential capital because they do not require large costs to process. This is what makes each country able to produce its own energy potential without depending on other countries by utilizing technology.
The reason is that by utilizing renewable energy sources, production costs are free and maintenance and upkeep costs are cheap. Apart from that, countries can also use simple equipment.
This is what makes renewable energy sources able to be utilized for all levels of human needs, from households to industry.
9. Encourage Economic Growth
Renewable energy sources can also increase economic growth significantly due to increased public spending in other sectors. In this case, the community is independent because it can process the natural potential around it into a source of energy.
Apart from that, the use of renewable energy sources can also create new jobs and generate sustainable economic growth.
Examples of Renewable Energy Sources
The following are some examples of renewable energy sources, namely:
1. Solar Panels
Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity that can be used for household, industrial and transportation purposes. Generally, solar panels are installed on the roof of a house or building, and can reduce electricity use from conventional power grids.
Hydroelectric energy is produced through hydroelectric power plants which utilize water currents from rivers or waterfalls to drive turbines and produce electricity. Hydroelectricity is one of the most commonly used sources of renewable energy and is very effective for producing large amounts of electrical energy.
The next example is biogas which comes from various kinds of organic waste, animal waste, human waste. This waste produces methane gas which is produced by anaerobic bacteria. This gas is then used as a source of energy.
4. Sea Tides
Examples of the use of this renewable energy source are often found on the East coast of America and Europe. The mechanism is to install turbines on the beach. Changes in tides and tides will be converted into mechanical energy which is then converted into several types of energy sources.
5. Sea Water Wave Power Plant
Sea wave energy is produced from the movement of sea water waves. This energy can be converted into electricity using turbines placed in water areas affected by large waves.