There are a total of 4 types of renewable energy options possible in the world as of today. Some of these options aren’t being used, while others are starting to see an increase in use. Most recently we saw the Midwest in the United States and states like Texas experience a polar vortex which shut down a lot of their renewable energy sources as they weren’t prepared for such freezing temperatures.
That’s a different story for another day but goes to show that many places rely on various forms of renewable energy. Below are the 4 types of renewable energy so you can get a feel for which options are available in the world today.
Solar energy is derived from sunshine. It captures the radiant heat put off from the UV rays that our beautiful sun provides. The radiant heat is then converted to heat, electricity, or hot water. There are two ways to capture this heat, one captures heat directly from the sun while other systems capture the radiant heat that the sunshine emits.
Solar energy tends to have a big upfront cost and doesn’t work well on a cloudy day unless you’ve captured enough energy during sunny days.
You may have seen some wind farms around the world. They’re hard to miss as the wind turbines extend high above the mountain tops wherever there’s a wind farm installed. This renewable energy source captures wind power and converts it into electricity.
This is a clean renewable energy option but it requires a lot of land in rural areas to create a wind farm massive enough to provide electricity worth the investment of this energy option.
This option of renewable energy typically uses a dam to allow water from a river to flow through the dam. The dam collects the energy that the water puts off and uses it to convert it to energy. There are two ways to create a hydroelectric plant depending on if you’re using a river or ocean, but the concept is the same, you’ll use water to create electricity.
Hydroelectric is a consistent renewable resource that can be created on small and large scales, however, it’s not a reliable form of energy at this time. It costs more to create a hydroelectric plant than the electricity it creates, therefore making it a less viable option at this time.
Many homesteaders have started to use geothermal for their heating source. This is using the heat trapped under the Earth to warm and cool your property. This process captures the heat and is collected from the steam when the heated water pump brings the warm air up from the core of the Earth.
Geothermal energy is not as well-known as the other forms of renewable energy but it’s a sustainable option for long-term energy and heating options. Sadly the cost of using geothermal energy is what keeps us from going forward with this renewable energy resource.
There you have it, the top 4 types of renewable energy options available to us as of this moment. Some of these energy options are being utilized across the world, while others need to be refined more to cost less so that they provide more value.