Using renewable energy sources has many benefits. Energy sources that don't harm the environment can give us power without producing pollution. These energy sources also continually renew themselves, so we don't have to worry about using them all up to get the energy we need. You have probably heard of solar energy, which is using sunlight for power. It's also possible to use the power of the wind, water, and oceans to produce energy. Even the Earth itself and organic materials that are often thrown away can be sources of renewable energy.
Solar energy is an effective way to harness the sun's power and use it to power various things. Solar energy doesn't release pollutants into the air, so it has fewer negative effects on the environment than other sources of energy. If the solar cells are large enough on panels, it's even possible to use the sun to produce enough electricity for an entire home. The amount of sunlight has to be enough, and it has to be consistent, or it may not be possible to collect enough energy.
Wind turbines are installed in areas where the wind blows regularly. These wind farms can be a great way to reduce electricity bills. As the huge rotors rotate, a generator spins that makes electricity. Wind turbines can be used to power specific needs such as pumping water, or they can also be attached to a large power grid to provide electricity. Some turbines also work with solar cell systems to provide even more energy.
Hydro means water, so it's easy to see that hydro energy means energy that's created using the power of water. Falling or moving water produces kinetic energy, which can be converted into mechanical energy with a turbine. When the mechanical energy comes out of the turbine, a generator converts it to electrical energy. Hydro-electric plants can be large enough to power only one or two houses, or they can be massive ones that produce enough electricity for large cities.
As tides rise and fall along ocean shorelines, it's possible to use the moving water to produce energy. Tidal plants place dams across inlets. As tides rise and fall, turbine systems are filled with and emptied of water, which produces energy. These two-way systems can produce energy as tides rise and fall.
"Geo" means Earth and "therme" means heat in Greek, so the word geothermal means heat that's produced by the Earth. This type of renewable energy can be harnessed to create electricity. Geothermal resources might be used to provide electricity for homeowners. It can also be used on a bigger scale to power industrial plants and huge farms.
Biomass energy includes organic materials that come from plants and animals. It's possible to burn solid matter such as wood and garbage. Material from animal waste or rotting garbage produces biogas, which can also be a fuel source. Liquid biomass includes cooking grease, vegetable oil, and animal fat, and these liquids can be fermented to create fuel that will power vehicles.