Dec, 2020 - By Aditi Rathi
The form of energy derived from renewable resources that meet today’s demand for energy without the risk of extinction is known as sustainable energy. Sustainable energy can be reused and therefore must be given utmost attention and encouragement. The sources of sustainable energy include wind, solar, geothermal, ocean energy, and hydropower which are available in abundance.
There is no chance that someday sun will disappear, or there will be no wind on earth. The rotation of earth will keep producing tides. Hence, renewable energy sources will continue to provide energy to the coming generations for ages.
Fossil fuels are available in a certain amount on the earth and their continuous use would one day make them disappear. These limited amount of energy sources result in greenhouse gas emission which harm the environment every coming day and adversely affect the planet. Sustainable energy is not derived from waste products or fossil fuels which makes them reusable leading to reduced emissions of greenhouse gas and avoiding environmental damages.
Since ancient times, energy has been derived from biomass such as wood, timber, and waste products. With technological evolution, fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil became energy sources as they were widely available and could be easily harnessed.
But nothing good can come without a cost. With the extensive use of fossil fuels, countries worldwide started facing environmental degradation due to large amount of production of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas causing global warming. The price of fossil fuels started increasing on the other hand as countries producing them began to hold these valuable products. As the risk of extinction of fossil fuels and pollution began to increase, so did the need for alternative energy sources. Looking for replenishable resources with wide availability has become the need of the hour. The benefits of sustainable energy are definitely endless but here are mentioned some for understanding why sustainable energy is the only way to fulfill energy demand and hand in hand save the environment.
As mentioned above, renewable energy sources are replenishable which means that they can be refilled and reused. Renewable energy is the energy derived from natural resources and not fossil fuels that are depleting day by day. These resources are available in abundance worldwide, and do not cause any environmental damage.
Earth stores energy from the sun, thermal energy and wind in its crust and thus makes them essential elements in the system of sustainable energy developing the world today and reducing energy shortage risk for the future.
Sustainable energy does not emit (or little, if any) greenhouse gases while generating energy which makes it the most viable and cleanest solution for preventing environmental degradation. The increasing rate of global warming caused by fossil fuel consumption is encouraging climate change at a rapid rate. Therefore, sustainable energy helps in reducing climate change which in turn helps in the betterment of human health.
Evolution of energy markets and growing geopolitical uncertainty has moved energy infrastructure and energy security resilience to the forefront of several national energy strategies. Sustainable energy gives local economies energy independence from fossil fuels as dependence on fossil fuels import results in subordination to economic short-term goals of the country supplying them.
In the entire world, there exists at least one renewable resource in abundance such as sun, water, wind, or any organic material that can produce ample amount of energy.
With the increasing availability of renewable resources, the competition among market players is resulting in reduced cost of installations. These energy sources are also giving major competition to the conventional energy produced by fossil fuels.
The major renewable technologies such as solar photovoltaic, and wind are reducing their costs drastically and their availability across the globe is increasing. Sustainable energy is emerging as an economical energy solution for the environment. Also, governments across the globe are providing subsidies to install renewable energy sources in offices and residential areas.
Installation of renewable resources demands materials and workmanship in order to build as well as maintain these facilities. This increased demand for the availability of skilled workers in turn increases job opportunities which help in improving the economic conditions of a country.
Sustainable energy is not just limited to being a part of renewable energy sources but is also an alternate energy source best used to power industries, offices and, homes without any harmful effect on the environment. Solely, this is the reason why sustainable energy is gaining prominence in today’s world. Also, the increasing awareness among people regarding the adverse effects of using fossil fuels are making people switch to renewable energy sources.
One of the best forms of sustainable energy is solar energy and has two forms; heat and light. Solar energy is widely available across the globe and is not likely to become extinct until there is life on earth. Due to its wide availability, it is a perfect source of energy for industries, offices, as well as homes.
The solar energy sector is growing at a rapid rate due to increased demand for alternative energy. Therefore, governments worldwide are investing in the future of energy with innovative solutions such as solar panels on bridges, power grids, and industries. Also, the energy is used to power homes with the help of power grids.
It is the best way to cut down electricity bills and save the environment.
This type of sustainable energy can be tapped for the production of power in vast amount that can be used in many places and ways. Wind energy is widely used for commercial purposes as many companies are heavily investing on windmills and power grids.
Similar to solar energy, wind energy can also be used worldwide as wind is not going anywhere and is actually everywhere. Governments of several countries are also focused on raising awareness regarding wind energy and helping in installation of windmills by providing subsidies. Wind power is increasingly becoming adaptable by reducing dependence on fossil fuel energy.
Heat derived from the earth’s surface is known as geothermal energy. Steam and water carry geothermal energy to the earth’s surface that can be used for cooling and heating purposes or to generate electricity. This key renewable energy holds a significant share of the overall demand for electricity in countries such as El Salvador, Iceland, New Zealand, The Philippines, and Kenya. More than 90% of the heating demand in Iceland is fulfilled by geothermal energy.
The major factors making this type of renewable energy beneficial include its independency from weather conditions, and high capacity.
As 70% of earth is covered with water, and oceans are available in a massive size. Therefore, ocean energy has more potential to generate power than any other source. This type of energy is used in three ways, tidal, wave, and ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC).
Waves are used by ocean thermal plants in order to convert kinetic energy present in waves to mechanical energy in turbines which later can be converted into electrical energy through generators.
Another type of renewable energy is biomass energy produces by living or once-living organisms. Also, landfills and agricultural as well as municipal waste are used to generate energy. These organisms and wastes are burned in order to produce energy. Biomass is completely a renewable source and emission of carbon dioxide that takes place in small amount is used by plants which later produces oxygen.
The moving water of rivers and waterfalls is captured and is used to turn turbines for power generation. This is called hydroelectric power. It is one of the biggest forms of alternative energy and is gaining worldwide popularity.
The simplest as well as the most abundant element on earth, hydrogen, has only one electron and one proton. Hydrogen is a clean fuel that stores as well as delivers usable energy. Energy derived from hydrogen and compounds containing hydrogen is known as hydrogen energy that has overwhelming environmental benefits and is one of the most efficient energy types.
As the earth has very less time to restore its environment and save its resources, it has become extremely important to switch to renewable energy. Energy demand has been increasing with every passing day leading to depletion of fossil fuels. Therefore, sustainable energy derived from renewable sources is the only solution left to save enough fossil fuels for future generations. With wide availability of renewable energy sources, governments worldwide are increasingly emphasizing on using sustainable energy for both environmental and economic issues. Sustainable energy not only saves the environment, but is also cost-effective.
Take a step towards saving the environment and switch to sustainable energy.