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Learn About Renewable Energy This Earth Month!

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What is “Renewable Energy,” and How Does it Help?

Renewable energy is a popular subject of discussion these days, but people do not always know what it is, how it helps, and the various types. And since April is Earth Month, there is no better time to learn than right now!

At a most basic level, renewable energy comes from natural sources like wind or sun that are continually replenished. This is in stark contrast to nonrenewable energy (i.e., fossil fuels) such as coal, petroleum, and gas, of which only a finite amount is available around the world.

Renewable energy provides huge environmental benefits by reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, thereby combating global warming and improving public health.

Solar Energy

solar energy

Solar energy comes from the sun and is the cleanest and abundant source of renewable energy. When the sun is converted into thermal or electrical energy, it creates solar power. This power can be used in many different ways, including electricity generation, heating water, and light generation.

There are several ways to harness solar energy. These include:

  • Photovoltaics – uses electronic processes to generate electricity directly from sunlight
  • Concentrating solar power – uses heat from the sun to run electricity-generating turbines
  • Solar heating and cooling – uses heat from the sun to provide space or water heating

Solar energy can even be stored for distribution after sunset, so it does not rely wholly on continuous sunshine for continued energy generation.

Wind Power

wind energy

Wind power refers to the generation of electricity or mechanical power from wind, typically through the use of wind turbines. These turbines convert wind-derived kinetic energy into mechanical power, which can either be converted into electricity or used for various tasks like grain processing or water pumping.

One of the most important things to consider when assessing wind power is the size of the turbines, as this ultimately facilitates their capacity to produce mechanical power. Turbine size generally corresponds with energy production capacity:

  • Small residential – powers one single home
  • Small commercial – powers farms, office buildings, schools, small businesses, etc.
  • Commercial – powers school campuses, communities, larger facilities, municipal needs, etc.
  • Large commercial or industrial – powers communities and huge onsite industrial loads
  • Utility-scale – powers large-scale energy production (often for selling purposes)

Other Types of Renewable Energy

In addition to solar and wind energy, there are some other types of renewable energy. These include:

  • Biomass energy – energy derived from animal or plant material of once-living organisms that are used to produce heat or electricity
  • Geothermal energy – heat derived from rocks and fluids in the sub-surface of the earth, even as far down as molten rock
  • Hydroelectric power – power derived from water in motion that is converted into mechanical energy
  • Tidal energy – power derived from converting energy from the movement of tides and ocean waters, often used for electricity

While each of these is unique and different, they all share a common purpose in offering sustainable energy alternatives that have significant long-term benefits for the environment.

About JDV Electric

JDV Electric of Lansdowne PA has been providing full-service electrical support to customers since 2005. Founder Joe Voci built the company upon trust, safety, quality, and a family-oriented approach. Their team of electricians offers expert support and fully transparent, upfront pricing. Give them a call for electrical services in Lansdowne today!

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