What is a renewable resource

Renewable resources are those that replenish themselves organically, implying that we will never run out of them. In the United States, renewable resources play a significant role in the economy. Biofuels and solar energy, for example, have become an increasingly important portion of the country’s energy usage. Though they’re renewable and hence unusable, they’re flow-limited, which means there’s only so much available at any given time.

In addition to nonrenewable resources, many governments have encouraged the use of renewable resources. Although this form of resource accounts for a little fraction of our total energy use, it is predicted to continue to increase. Biofuels, hydropower, geothermal, wind, and sun are examples of renewable resources. Renewable resources can also refer to non-energy items like wood and seafood.

Let’s take a look at each one separately. Solar power, in its broadest sense, sustains all life on Earth and is the source of all other energy resources we utilize. The Sun’s beams (solar radiation) that reach the Earth are referred to as solar energy.

This powerhouse, which has been producing solar radiation for millions of years through nuclear fusion, now produces so much energy that the quantity of sunlight reaching the Earth in a single hour could meet the entire world’s energy demands for an entire year! The Sun’s energy is roughly 1,300 watts per square metre outside the Earth’s atmosphere. A third of this light is reflected back into space, while the rest is absorbed by the atmosphere. Solar energy can be utilized to heat water or spaces directly (a greenhouse, for example).

The energy in the form of solar radiation is turned into thermal or heat energy in this process. Photovoltaics and solar power plants may also convert solar energy into electricity. You might be wondering why, with such a fantastic power source that creates no pollution, we don’t use it more. The issue is our inability to effectively harness the Sun’s energy. Solar panels that absorb sunlight and convert it to energy are currently expensive and inefficient to manufacture, but technology is improving.

For hundreds of years, people have used wind to convert the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical energy that runs machinery, mills grain, and pumps water. Wind turbines of modern technology use the wind to propel blades that turn generators that generate power. Wind power is praised as a “green” technology because it emits no pollution into the atmosphere. Wind farms, on the other hand, require a huge number of wind turbines to be effective; opponents complain about the noise, some people believe they are an eyesore, and there are concerns that large wind turbines may damage wild bird populations.

Hydro power, like wind power, has been used to create electricity for a long time – the Egyptians milled grain using hydro power 2,000 years ago. The most frequent kind of renewable energy used to create electricity is hydropower.

The water cycle is responsible for the movement of water on Earth that fills rivers and, in turn, drives hydro power. Water is often held in dams and then channeled via pipes that drive the turbines of a generator to harness its power.

Areas for water sports and enjoyment are among the advantages of storing water in dams for hydropower. However, altering rivers can have negative consequences for an area’s ecology, such as disrupting fish migration. Any planned hydropower schemes must now consider the potential environmental and local implications.

Geothermal energy is obtained from the heat stored within the Earth’s interior. To make use of this heat, we’ll need a heat-transporting fluid (steam or water). The fluid must be able to pass through the Earth’s crust’s pores and fissures. Wells can be bored into the ground to transfer geothermal fluid up when a source of heated fluid is close enough to the Earth’s surface.

The majority of geothermal power’s side effects are connected to what happens to the water or steam after it is extracted from the earth. CO2 is produced by geothermal power plants, however it is much less than that produced by fossil-fuelled power plants.

Bioenergy is the process of converting biomass into energy in the form of heat, light, electricity, or transportation fuel. Bioenergy is used when, for example, wood is burned in a fire. Wood, plants, and even microbes are examples of natural resources that can be used as energy sources.

With rising oil prices and concerns about how long fossil fuels will be available, people have been looking for alternatives such as repurposing sawmill by-products, reusing cooking oils, and planting fast-growing plants that can be transformed into an useable fuel in recent years. Despite the fact that these resources are renewable, they emit greenhouse emissions.

Check out my related post: Can we use plants to generate energy?


Interesting reads:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/renewable-energy-resource

https://www.twi-global.com/technical-knowledge/faqs/renewable-energy

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/renewable-sources/

https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/1571-renewable-energy-sources

https://www.edfenergy.com/for-home/energywise/renewable-energy-sources

https://education.nationalgeographic.org/?q=&page[number]=1&page[size]=25

https://learn.robinhood.com/articles/2Tq1BV2zXWFrAMQbrrw1ZZ/what-is-a-renewable-resource/

https://www.man-es.com/discover/decarbonization-glossary—man-energy-solutions/renewable-resources

https://www.twinkl.com.sg/teaching-wiki/renewable-energy

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