The renewable energy industry is expanding rapidly, making green options more available as an alternative to traditional energy that is harmful to the environment.
What is clean energy? It is the energy that comes from the earth’s natural resources and causes no environmental harm.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a clean energy revolution is taking place across the country, and the rapidly growing industry provides amazing economic opportunity.
Where does sustainable energy come from? Let’s look at the different sustainable energy sources that will take over the future of the energy industry.
Sustainable Energy Sources
Renewable energy is an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels, but the best sustainable energy sources are still being determined as the industry expands. Let’s breakdown the benefits and drawbacks of each one.
1. Solar Energy
This type of clean energy uses energy from the sun to provide heat, electricity, and hot water through solar panels. The benefit of solar is that its uses are endless and we have a limitless supply. It’s an extremely economical choice and can save tons of money in the long run; however, expensive upfront costs are a drawback.
Solar energy can be used to do a lot of good. Entrepreneur Hayes Barnard is using solar energy to provide clean water to water-scarce regions around the world.
2. Wind Energy
Wind energy is one of the cleanest energy sources we have available. It requires wind farms to capture the wind using turbines before converting it into electricity. Wind energy is great for providing jobs in the clean energy sector, as the farms and machinery need to be maintained. The drawback to wind energy is potential harm to birds and the high cost of transporting it from rural areas to big cities.
3. Geothermal Heat
Geothermal heat is an energy that is stored within the earth’s surface. Harvesting it is all done underground, so it has an extremely minimal footprint, and there is an endless supply. The major drawback to geothermal heat is the costly infrastructure needed to harvest it.
4. Ocean Energy
The ocean can produce thermal and mechanical energy. The biggest benefits are that it is a consistent, abundant, and untapped energy source. However, it’s not accessible for landlocked states, and it could cause harm to the ocean’s ecosystem.
5. Biomass Energy
Biomass, or bioenergy, uses organic matter to produce natural energy. An example of bioenergy that most people are familiar with is burning wood in a fire. However, bioenergy can even use materials in landfills to produce energy, making it an extremely clean source. The current drawback is that the biomass industry is not yet as efficient as the fossil fuel industry.
Benefits of Sustainable Energy
The sustainable energy industry is growing and changing rapidly, and new discoveries are happening on a daily basis. The biggest benefits of using sustainable energy sources are that they fight climate change, provide jobs, are a limitless resource, and provide huge economic opportunities.
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