Why renewable energy is important
Renewable energies: technology, economics, evolution and integration into the Electric SystemEnergy is classified as renewable and non-renewable according to its capacity for renewal. A “renewable resource” is defined as that which is not exhausted with its use, since it returns to its original state after its use or is regenerated at a rate greater than or equal to the rate at which it is diminished by its use. According to this definition, it is true that some renewable resources may cease to be renewable if their rate of utilization is so high that their total renewal is prevented; however, some of these renewable resources can be classified as perpetual, since their depletion is not possible no matter how intensively they are used. Normally, the use of a renewable resource or energy has the intrinsic characteristic of producing a much lower impact on the environment compared to the use or transformation of non-renewable energy. The use of renewable resources or energy has the intrinsic characteristic of producing a much lower impact on the environment compared to the use or transformation of non-renewable energy.
Renewable resources or energy. Characterization and technologies. For illustrative purposes, some of the renewable resources currently used for the production of renewable energy are: water, biomass, solar radiation, wind. In this way (see Technologies and costs of electricity generation):
What is non-renewable energy?
Unlike conventional energy sources, renewable energy sources are those found in nature in unlimited quantities, which can be regenerated naturally or artificially and whose impact on the environment is practically null or reversible. Renewable energies include hydroelectric, wind, solar, geothermal, tidal and biomass energy.
Due to these advantages, the production of this type of energy has been supported by the international community through the signing of the Paris Agreement signed during the World Climate Summit held in 2015 in the capital of France. This agreement, which will be in force as of 2020, establishes that the 200 signatory countries will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the most dramatic effects of climate change.
Renewable energy examples
Hydro, wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy are clean and inexhaustible energies. As renewable energies, they play a predominant role in the energy transition. It is therefore essential to promote their development to combat climate change.
An energy is said to be renewable when its energy source is based on the use of natural resources, such as the sun, wind, water or biomass. Renewable energy is characterized by the fact that it does not use fossil fuels, but natural resources capable of unlimited renewal.
In addition to being inexhaustible energies, they do not produce greenhouse gases (GHG), the main cause of climate change, or pollutant emissions, so they have a very low environmental impact. It can be said that renewable energies are clean energy sources.
Why is nuclear energy not renewable? Nuclear energy is a decarbonized and non-polluting energy. It does not emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. However, uranium, the fuel used in nuclear reactors, is a limited resource. Therefore, nuclear energy is a clean but non-renewable energy.
Renewable energy characteristics
Renewable or clean energy is obtained from natural sources such as wind or water, among others; and non-renewable energy comes from nuclear or fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas or coal.
Given the comparison, choosing one type or the other is not very complicated: renewable energies are presented as the great solution to the future of the earth since they are generated with infinite materials found in nature and are easily regenerated.
Moreover, producing them is much less polluting than in the case of non-renewable energies, although, due to their low popularity, they are still more expensive to produce and require large-scale facilities that can affect natural ecosystems if they do not operate correctly.
Even so, renewable energies, besides being the clean and inexhaustible option, are autochthonous, do not leave residues and their carbon footprint is reduced; while non-renewable energies, polluting and limited, are not very sustainable in the use of technologies and have complicated production processes that involve many external factors.