The typical energy resources currently in use include non-renewable sources that will not last forever. In fact, we have already used up a large percentage of the earth’s non-replenishing resources. This is having a profound destructive effect on not only our economy, but the environment. However, recent research has increased the interest in lower-cost renewable energy resources that do not harm the earth’s environment. These resources include solar, wind, organic matter, geothermal, and water.
The sun is directly and indirectly responsible for four of our renewable energy options, but the most obvious is solar energy. Solar energy produces electricity from the sun and is used in business, industry, and the home. It can power our lights, heat our water, cool our homes, and produce the electricity we need to run our appliances and gadgets. While just about any area of the world can benefit from solar energy, it is most useful in those parts of the world with high sun exposure for the majority of the year.
The sun warms the air and stirs up wind, which is another type of renewable energy. Wind farmers use turbines, or windmills, to grab energy from the wind. Wind power runs farms, households, and is useful to local and global industries. When wind and sun cause evaporation, rain and snow are the results. The water fills and moves along our flowing waters where it can be used as hydroelectric energy.
Everybody knows that it is sun and rain that makes plants grow, but not all are aware that the organic matter that makes up those plants, or biomass, is also a tremendous energy resource. Energy from organic matter can be used for fuel, electricity, and needed chemicals. These are all referred to as bioenergy, which is energy from life itself.
The sun is not involved with geothermal energy. Geothermal energy comes from the heat inside of the earth. Energy from beneath our feet will heat our water, keep our homes and other structures nice and cool, and produce electricity.
Our earth is made up of seven continents, which are surrounded by oceans, which provide two important sources of energy. Tides and wind create waves. Tidal energy is renewable, and wave energy is consistently renewable with wind, water, and tides. That is not all there is! The difference in temperature of ocean water from the icy cold depths to the shallower, warmer water that has been heated by the sun is also a source of energy.
The discovery of coal and oil as sources of energy helped to create the industrial and technical world we live in, but in order to continue to power a technologically-evolving earth, we must do further research into all different types of renewable energy. Oil and coal will not renew — at least not fast enough to keep up with a growing world that depends on electric power. Of all the choices we have, we continue to use non-renewable fuels that poison our water and pollute our air. We strip our forests fast and fail to plant with equal vigor. Renewable energy is our hope for the future of the planet.
Energy resources that renew are good for the economy. When people and corporations invest in renewable energy, most of the profits go back into the helping the local economy, rather than profiting commercial operations and industries on the other side of the globe. Renewable energy jobs are more secure than jobs in oil or coal. Renewable energy never depletes, but it must be harnessed, equipment will always be necessary, and although it does do most of the renewing on its own, it must be supervised.
As residents of the earth, we not only have a responsibility to our planet, we have a personal stake in its survival. We can either gorge on energy that cannot renew and leaves the world in ever-worsening shape, or we can choose to get our power from all of the types of renewable energy. For the sake of future generations, we need to stop hurting our earth and start healing it.
At dumpsterrentaldetroitmi.org everyone is committed to environmentally safe campaigns such as recycling and renewable sources of energy whenever possible.