The demand for energy will rise with the rise in global population along with the ever expanding economies. Energy is essential for both economic and social development which in turn posses severe constrain on environment. The aspect of energy production and consumption goes hand in hand with exploring all avenues of clean energy, efficient energy, carbon sources and sinks along with biomass and their respective relationship to climate and natural resources.
One sixth of world’s energy requirement comes from bioenergy and this leads to large tracts of deforestation and loss of topsoil. Renewable energy and research based on this topic has become the most sought after topics as we are slowly approaching redline of both energy depletion and critical pollution point.
We see lot of energy sources which are abundant in nature and even though after their use as they are replenishing ones. These energies are renewable energies. One of the most important renewable or sustainable energy is solar energy as it will be available as long as the Sun continues to shine and by the present estimation it will run for another five million years approximately. The solar energy referred as insolation is a kind of electromagnetic radiation and carries huge amount of energy in the form of heat. The other forms of energies are wind, bio-energy, hydro, tidal wave and geo-thermal.
The early societies or pre-industrial period dependent completely on what we now know as renewable energy sources. The energy forms that these periods dependent upon were mainly wind, solar and hydro. With the advent of rapid industrial growth the need and form of energy changed forever.
The renewable energy sources pose a challenge to the aspect of having almost similar or more energy output compared to conventional fuels as most of the prototypes that use renewable energy resources have low energy output and are not conducive to fast lanes of economic growth. The increasing dependence on low carbon energy sources might lead to a different kind of economic boost and may create new limits of on both research and economics growth.
Renewable energy sources are basically the sources which could sustain over a period of time and could renewed from time to time. The sustainable sources of energy are nuclear power, biomass, geothermal, hydroelectricity, wind energy, solar power, wave power, and tidal power.
Renewable sources are also known to be less polluting and hence are most sought after as the world is looking at new carbon emission norms where the carbon rating plays a major role in establishing new industries and factories where they are rated according to the carbon emission and products that are produced are also rated accordingly. Most of the companies that are setting up their units are very conscious about carbon ratings and the returns that they could manage to sustain both profit as well as recognition of healthy environment friendly company.Apart from the commercial facts the world is looking at stark reality of securing the future for our generation next where they can survive against all odds of environmental catastrophe.
The most sought after alternate energy sources are as follows:
1) Biomass: a very good alternative to the contemporary fuels available as it has no or minimal emission and helps in containing the biomass accumulation as well as produce cheap energy.
2) Geothermal: only a few countries in the world could use this source but is definitely a viable source of alternate cheap energy. Utilising the thermal heat from Earth’s core definitely gives an alternate to contemporary sources
3) Hydroelectricity: another viable alternative source of energy to the organic fuels but only manageable for rivers which has large catchment area
4) Wind energy: the coastal areas and hilly terrains are most viable locations for these sources as to run these commercially the wind speed needs to be 10 Km/hour throughout the year and hence are area specific
5) Solar power: area specific energy source as most of these installation works better in areas with at least minimum direct sunlight is available. Semi-arid or desert areas are most likely the areas where these photo-voltaic cells are set up.
Renewable energy group is one of the pioneers in bio energy fuel and chemical production in North America. This company helps in converting the natural forms of fats and oils along with other residues of petroleum products into useful energy. It also helps in converting the various feed-stocks we have in our surroundings into useful chemicals. This Company has around ten bio-refineries around the country which works continuously on bio fuel research and development.
Renewable energy is important not only to help the environment rebuild itself but also help the natural resources like forest and water to recover from excess industrial disaster. The depletion of ozone as well as melting of icecaps is also linked to excess of industrialization and rapid depletion of natural resources. In order to help build on natural forest cover and potable water replenishment the switch to renewable energy source is the only solution left for human kind. This is important for the survival of living organism on this planet.
The pros of renewable energy are mainly to focus on sheer survival of all living organism on this planet. The renewable energy will help in building up on forest cover, replenish water resource, and reduce greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere which will eventually help in reducing the rapid melting of ice caps. The rise of ocean leading to submergence of low lying areas could also be slowed down. The low amount of greenhouse gasses also helps in reduction in acid rain which helps in maintaining the pH of the soil.
As far the cons are concerned the installation of these renewable units are costly, not uniform in resource availability, low output compared to carbon deposit fuels units, and huge maintenance cost. The technology is not available for developing countries making it ineffective to reduce the greenhouse gas pollution.
||Non- renewable energy
||Non sustainable energy source
|No or very less emission
||Highly polluting energy sources
|Output is low per unit relative to organic fuels
||High output per unit of energy
|High installation cost
||Relatively lower installation cost
|Cheap return on long run
||High cost of running
The examples of renewable energy mainly consists of biomass fuel like gobar gas (animal residual), solar power energy like what we have in California, wind energy units installed to harness high wind flow like in Denmark and United Kingdom as well as great plains of USA. Tidal energy harnessing points like in United Kingdom and Holland. Geothermal units or geysers based energy units in United States and El Salvador use the heat energy from Earth’s core.