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  • Melissa Deaver

Types of Renewable Energy

Of course we are partial to solar energy as the primary source of renewable energy, but there are so many options out there! Here is a breakdown of the most common types of renewable energy.


Renewable energy comes from a source that won't run out. They are natural and self-replenishing. Usually they have a low or zero-carbon footprint.


Wind


Wind is the largest producer of renewable electricity in the United States. Onshore and offshore wind farms generate electricity by spinning wind turbines. The turbines convert the energy of the blades into electric energy by turning a drive shaft and gear box, which is connected to a generator. Electricity is then converted into higher voltages and fed into the grid.


Solar


Solar power generates electricity by capturing sunlight on solar panels in a joint chemical and physical reaction, known as the "photovoltaic effect" (or PV).


Hydroelectric


Hydro power is created using the movement of flowing or falling water. Hydroelectric power plants are found at damns and generate electricity through underwater turbines that turn a generator. Hydro power also encompasses wave and tidal power, which rely on ocean forces to generate electricity at the mouths of large bodies of water.



Bioenergy


Electricity can be generated when organic matter is burned as a fuel source. These are known as biomass and include anything from plants to timber to food waste. CO2 is emitted when bioenergy is made, but these sources are renewable because they can be regrown and absorb as much CO2 as they emit.

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