It is possible to meet the energy need of the world, that has become an increasingly important problem, with renewable energy sources and clean energy sources without harming the environment.
The world is facing with more and more energy need every passing day. The main energy sources which are currently used are fossil fuels. Unfortunately, the non-renewable energy sources are heavily used.
Since no required importance given to renewable energy sources, many problems including air, water, and environmental pollution emerge with the energy need.
We need to head for sustainable energy sources in order to meet the energy need of the future generations and minimize the damage to the environment.
Sustainable energy sources are used for the produced energy without risking energy resources in order to meet the required need. The renewable energy sources play the most important role in the continuity and meeting the demand.
If we need to summarize the renewable energy; we find the natural resources used for energy production which can renew themselves faster than the consumption pace.
Renewable energy sources are as follows;
- Solar energy,
- Wind energy,
- Hydraulic (hydroelectric) energy,
- Geothermal energy,
- Biomass energy (including biofuel energy),
- Hydrogen energy,
- Wave energy,
- Tidal energy,
However it is not produced enough yet, piezoelectric energy can be also listed among the renewable energy sources. The piezoelectric energy converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.
Well, what are these renewable energy sources?
Here are the main clean energy sources and green energy sources:
What is renewable energy sources
What is renewable energy sources, solar energy? The solar energy is produced by converting the solar rays into heat and energy with the help of the solar panels. Solar energy which is among the natural energy sources can be obtained without any damage to the environment.
This energy type which was much more expensive in the past is now increasing rapidly due to more affordable costs. Also, the solar energy usage areas are quite a lot and this amount is increasing in each day.
Advantages of Solar Energy
- It is a renewable energy source,
- Natural materials are used,
- It is economical,
- It is not dependent on external sources and can be used in any country,
- It is an environmentally clean energy source.
Disadvantages of Solar Energy
- Its yield for production is low,
- It is not stable during the entire year. There may be seasonal or night time shortage,
- The initial investment cost is very high,
- It is expensive for average and minor consumers,
- It may be needed to store in some cases which can increase the cost a lot,
- Severe yield loss may occur in the shaded areas.
What is renewable energy sources, wind energy? It is the energy type obtained with the pressure occurred due to the differences in the incoming angle of the sun rays to world and winds that occur due to the turning of the world.
Wind energy obtained thanks to the wind turbines established in places with heavy winds is among the renewable energy sources. Since the wind is predictable thanks to the technological advancements, we are able to use wind energy more effectively.
The wind turbine is a bit complicated and it consists of many components. The main wind turbine types are as follows:
- Micro wind turbine,
- Small type wind turbine,
- Horizontal axis wind turbine,
- Vertical axis wind turbine,
- Oblique axis wind turbine.
Advantages of Wind Energy
- It is a constant energy source,
- It is not dependent on external sources since it is obtained from natural sources,
- Unit costs are continuously falling since the wind energy sector is constantly developing,
- It is a clean energy source and it has really low damage to the environment,
- Nearly 95% of the world can benefit from wind energy.
Disadvantages of Wind Energy
- Large areas are required for wind turbines,
- They may look poor visually,
- They are a major threat to migratory birds and causes mass bird deaths,
- Wind turbines generate high-decibel sound and they lead to noise pollution,
- Although their yields vary, they are generally low,
- They are very inefficient in city centers and valleys,
- There may be unwanted conditions such as rollover or burning.
Hydroelectric (Hydraulic) Energy
What is renewable energy sources, hydroelectric energy? Hydroelectric energy is obtained by the flow of the water and a harmless energy type due to the absence of greenhouse gas emissions which.
Hydroelectric energy is generated by transferring the kinetic energy generated by the flow of water to turbines through channels. Hydroelectric production will be a great advantage especially in areas where the height and the flow rate of the water are high.
Advantages of Hydroelectric Energy
- It does not create an environmental pollution,
- It can be switched quickly in cases where excessive energy need emerges,
- It can be switched off quickly again in emergency cases,
- It is not dependent on external sources since it is obtained from natural sources,
- It can be used for watering and other events, not only for energy.
Disadvantages of Hydroelectric Energy
- The initial investment cost is very high,
- The installation period is very long,
- The energy generation capacity depends on the downfall,
- It can lead to flood hazard during an earthquake or similar cases, which can lead to the flood of settlement areas.
The operating principles of hydraulic power plants are complex.
What is renewable energy sources, geothermal energy? Geothermal energy is the type of energy obtained directly or indirectly from areas where geothermal resources are available.
This type of energy which serves for different purposes such as heating, cooling, electricity generation and mineral production also contributes to the tourism sector with the help of springs. It is one of the important clean energy resources.
Advantages of Geothermal Energy
- It is among the environment-friendly energy sources,
- There is no need for fossil fuels to heat or vaporize water or generate electricity with geothermal,
- It is not dependent on external sources since it is a natural energy source,
- Production yields are very high,
- The investment cost is really low since it is directly obtained from underground.
Disadvantages of Geothermal Energy
- There are some harmful chemicals in the structures of geothermal resources. Thus, it is required to subject them to re-injection processes,
- It cannot be renewed since it is an exhaustible resource,
- Fluidic materials from these sources are generally containing corrosive and polluting minerals,
- The energy transmission can be inefficient,
- This is why geothermal systems should be located close to the settlement areas.
What is renewable energy sources, biomass energy? Biomass energy is the energy type obtained from all kinds of organic waste, plants, and algae. The well-known example of biomass energy is the use of plant and animal wastes as energy.
Bioethanol, biodiesel, pyrolysis products, microbial fuel cells and biogas are among the alternative energy sources developed with biomass energy.
Advantages of Biomass Energy
- It can be used almost everywhere,
- The production technologies are well-known,
- Low light intensity is sufficient,
- It can be obtained with any desired size,
- It is suitable for storage,
- 5-35 degrees are sufficient,
- It is important in terms of the socio-economic point of view,
- It is less harmful to the environment.
Disadvantages of Biomass Energy
- The yields are low,
- It leads to competition for agricultural areas,
- It requires more water,
- It can be only applied in large settlement areas.
What is renewable energy sources, hydrogen energy? Hydrogen energy is the energy source obtained by the processing and conversion of hydrogen gas which is available in the form of compounds in nature.
Despite it is a natural energy source, it is among the sustainable and alternative energy sources.
Since it does not contain any carbon, it does not have any danger such as the release of harmful gasses which occurs in the processing of fossil wastes. It is 1.33 times more efficient than petroleum fuels. It has a really important place among the clean energy sources. It has the capability to be the fuel for the vehicles which will operate with hydrogen in the future.
What is renewable energy sources, wave energy? Wave energy is the energy type obtained from the movement of the waves and the pressure created by the waves in the sea. The wave energy provides natural and sustainable energy production with the help of wave generators.
Wave energy which does not have any harm on environment and nature is the least used type of renewable energy sources. But when we consider that %70 of the world is water, it can meet most of our energy need when enough attention will be paid.
Advantages of Wave Energy
- It is never-ending energy source and there are plenty of it in nature,
- It reduces the dependence on fossil fuels,
- It does not pollute the environment since it is a clean energy source,
- It reduces the unemployment and provides employment,
- Since it is applied on seas and oceans, it will lead to new explorations in the seas,
- It protects of the coasts.
Disadvantages of Wave Energy
- It must be close to settlement areas,
- It can be easily affected by weather conditions,
- It is hard to find experienced workers,
- A new system must be developed for each wave length.
What Is the Importance of Renewable Energy Resources?
The renewable energy sources are important in many terms.
- The most important element for the development of a country is energy. Therefore, renewable energy sources are important,
- It is environmentally important since it reduces the fuel use,
- It has a great importance in terms of the improvement of the local sources,
- It is important since it reduces the dependence,
- It is important since it complies with the international agreements,
- It provides employment and reduces unemployment,
- It is important since it allows the use of electricity in areas where it is hard to supply electricity.
What are the Environmental Effects of Renewable Energy Resources?
Environmental Effects of Solar Energy
- No harmful gases are released into the atmosphere in the solar energy. It has negligible harmful effect during the installation phase,
- Although low, there is possibility that the liquid in the battery can mix to the water in battery powered solar powered systems,
- No any waste is in question apart from the packaging wastes during the installation phase,
- It may lead to visual pollution since solar energy farms require large areas,
- Solar power plants restrict the area of animals living in their natural environment in areas where these plants are built. These are the environmental effects of renewable energy sources, solar energy.
Environmental Effects of Wind Energy
- Wind energy does not have any effect on atmosphere since it does not release any harmful gasses,
- Wind energy which is among the renewable energy sources has no effect on water pollution,
- Wind turbines do not have any wastes. Therefore, it does not have any effect on environment in terms of the wastes,
- They create a real visual pollution since they are huge,
- They lead to noise pollution since they work really loudly,
- Wind turbines attract birds due to the airflow they create. The birds die by crashing to these turbines since they can not get away from this air flow.
Environmental Effects of Geothermal Energy
- Since there are some gasses in its structure, harmful gasses such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide are released to atmosphere while geothermal sources are used,
- Although low, it can lead to noise pollution.
Environmental Effects of Hydrogen Energy
- Hydrogen energy is the cleanest energy source. Because only water is released when this energy type is burned. It does not have any effect on the environment.
Environmental Effects of Biomass Energy
- Biomass energy can be obtained in many ways. Some harmful gasses are released during the energy production method obtained by using garbage and wastes. It has very low amount of effect on environment apart from these.
Environmental Effects of Wave Energy
- Although low, it can lead to noise and visual pollution. Apart from these, it does not require any fuel since it operates mechanically. Therefore, it does not release any waste or gasses to the environment.
Comparison Table of Renewable Energy Technologies
The cost and implementation criteria of renewable energy technologies are as follows:
Slogans About Renewable Energy Sources
Here are the slogans about the renewable energy sources;
- “Spare Energy for the Future!”
- “Neither coal, not oil, nor nuclear! Sun and wind are enough for us!”
- “Protect the world while producing and protect yourself while consuming!”