When speaking about renewable energy, we are talking about power which derives its energy from resources which will not be diminished from the use. Renewable energy is a substitute for the non-renewable energy of fossil fuel due to other reasons than non-depletion.
One fundamental advantage of renewable energy, and environmentalists’ favorite reason to tout its use, is that there are no greenhouse gases or other pollutants emitted as there are with the burning of fossil fuels. Alternative energy, or solar, water and wind power, are certainly not new although they have received much attention recently. Wind, solar and water power have been utilized as power sources in both developing and developed countries for a long time, but they have yet to be used as a primary source of energy for any big metropolitan area.
The generation of power from alternative energy sources has become somewhat more common in recent times as people have increasingly become aware of issues such as climate change due to fossil fuel byproducts and depletion and the political or social worries about nuclear power. There are numerous countries and non-profit, environmentally conscious organizations that are endorsing the use of alternative energy by enacting tax incentives for its use and by subsidizing the cost of transitioning from fossil fuel to renewable energy.
The flow of renewable energy has to do with naturally occurring phenomena. Tides, sunlight, wind and heat are all created by geothermal events and all are sources of renewable energy. Each of these sources of energy has unique characteristics pertaining to where and how we can use them.
Most technology which transforms renewable energy into power which we can use is solar powered either directly or indirectly. The atmospheric system of the earth maintains equilibrium such that the heat which radiates into space is equal to the amount of radiation received from the sun. The quantity of energy contained in the atmosphere approximates the earth’s climate. The bodies of water of the earth, or its hydrosphere, absorb much of the radiation which is received from the sun.
And much of that absorbed radiation is in the lower latitudes surrounding the equator. The energy is dispersed throughout the earth, though, by both ocean and wind currents. It is thought that the action of the oceans’ waves may play a role in the transference of mechanical energy between ocean and atmosphere by means of wind stress. Solar energy additionally is instrumental in the distribution of precipitation which is utilized in hydroelectric energy production as well as in plant growth which ultimately results in biofuels.
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