5 types of clean energy you should know
Earth is rich with natural sources of energy such as sunlight, water, wind, and natural gases. These natural resources produce clean energy that does not harm the environment. More importantly, these energy types are sustainable and renewable because they are naturally replenished.
Recent technological innovations in the energy industry are finally making clean energy available to the general public through solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal, hydropower, and hydrogen fuels.
Now you can generate electricity for your own household consumption, for example, through companies like Maharashtra Solar with their solar power systems. There are many renewable energy options and here are 5 types of clean energy that you should know.
1. Solar energy
For billions of years now, the sun has been the biggest source of light and heat for humans, animals, and plants. It can produce 10,000 times more energy than we can use.
Innovations to transform sunlight into energy have come a long way since the solar oven developed by the British in the 1830s. The latest solar power systems collect energy from sunlight and convert it directly into electricity using devices called photovoltaic (PV) cells.
These are built into PV or solar panels and installed on the roof of homes and buildings. Energy collected from the sun is then stored in batteries and converted into electricity.
2. Geothermal energy
There is another place that is as hot as the surface of the sun. The Earth’s innermost core has the same temperature as the sun’s surface. Curiously enough, it’s a moon-sized ball of iron that doesn’t melt.
The heat escapes naturally through outlets like hot springs and volcanic eruptions. Outlets like hot springs are sources of geothermal energy. Water and steam are trapped into dry steam or hot water wells that spin turbines to generate electricity.
3. Hydroelectric energy
Another renewable source of clean energy called hydroelectric power is produced from rivers and fast-flowing waterfalls. There are three types of hydroelectric facilities:
- Impoundment – a system where water is stored in a dam or reservoir and then released to spin turbines that generate electricity
- Diversion – a system where parts of the river are diverted and channelled through a canal
- Pumped Storage – water is pumped to a higher reservoir from a lower reservoir then later released to the lower reservoir to spin the turbines that generate electricity.
4. Nuclear energy
In a nuclear power plant, energy is produced by boiling water to produce steam that spins turbines to generate electricity. Nuclear power is one of the most efficient types of energy today. In fact, about 11% of the world’s electricity is from nuclear energy with the United States and France leading in production.
5. Hydrogen energy
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and can be found in water, coal, and natural gases. Since hydrogen first powered internal combustion engines over 200 years ago, hydrogen power is now being produced for transportation and electricity.
Demand for Hydrogen is growing especially for major industrial businesses. Green hydrogen produced from renewable sources is continuously being refined to replace fossil fuels.