Why use Renewable Energy Sources?
With the fear of running out of fossil fuels and other sources of non-renewable energy, experts are trying to educate people about the need to shift to a new renewable energy source. In the recent years, there has been an increase renewable energy sources. Such sources include solar, water, and wind. As with everything else many people have doubted renewable energy sources and have questioned their efficiency, as well as our ability to converting renewable energy to electricity. It is crystal clear that the real issue lies with the understanding rather than the doubling of the efficiency of renewable energy sources to deliver the same efficiency of our current fossil fuels and non-renewable sources.
So what are the different types?
Some of the most popular types of renewable energy being used today include solar, geothermal, wind, and hydro. Unfortunately, despite the popularity that these sources are gaining, consumers are still in the process of figuring out and understanding how these all work to generate electricity. The techniques and technology used to create energy from these sources are still less efficient than most people are used to, and not up to the efficiency generated by fossil fuels. One of the biggest blocks in the renewable energy field has always been the cost-effectiveness. The technology behind these different types is far more expensive than what we currently are using.
Geothermal energy systems
A simple, nonpolluting way of using the earth’s heat to heat and cool a building rather than produce electricity on an individual basis. Using GHP in conjunction with traditional heating and cooling systems allow those systems to use 40 to 70% less energy than without a GHP. The upfront cost is several times that of a conventional system and payback can be from 2-10 years.
Wind power generators
Machines that convert wind energy into electrical power. The only required fuel is wind and is therefore free, and unlimited. The initial capital costs can be considered although the price for small-scale home systems has become more affordable.
The theory behind the wind power generator is simple: wind turbines drive the spindle to operate an alternator to convert the mechanical energy into electrical power. This electrical power is then wired directly for consumption, storage or both. The excess can also be channeled back onto the power grid for other users.
By nature, a constant good year-round supply of wind is rare. That’s why wind power generators are typically used in conjunction with another renewable energy source namely solar power. Even if wind power is deployed only as a supplement to the utility grid, it will be beneficial nonetheless in slashing power bills and good for the environment.
The process of creating the above-mentioned sources is definitely much more expensive than our non-renewable sources. As an example, converting solar energy into electricity is still expensive in comparison to our electric providers now. While our sun’s energy is free and very much renewable, setting up and installing the solar panels used to capture the sun’s rays and transform them into electricity is very pricey. Even companies that are currently using solar energy sell their electricity at a higher price in comparison to fossil fuel electric providers. With all that aside, solar energy is still considered to be cheaper in the long run, and most definitely more environmentally friendly.
Wherever you live, purchasing renewable energy from your power retailer, to offset your consumption of fossil fuels is an alternative, if you cannot afford to switch to home-based alternative energy and will cost only marginally more than your standard energy rate and allow you to help the environment, even if just a little bit.