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What is Renewable Energy And Its Type?

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy comes from naturally renewing but flow-limited sources. Renewable resources have an almost infinite lifespan but have a finite amount of energy accessible per unit of time. Renewable energy sources include biomass (which includes biofuels), hydropower, the geothermal, wind, and solar. In 2020, about 12% of U.S energy consumption was from renewable energy. Most of the renewable energy used is for producing electricity.

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Types of Renewable energy

  • Biomass

Biomass is organic material that is renewable and comes from both plants and animals. Up until the middle of the 1800s, biomass accounted for the majority of the entire yearly U.S. energy consumption. Biomass is a popular fuel in many nations, particularly for heating and cooking in underdeveloped nations. In many industrialised nations, the use of biomass fuels for electricity production and transportation is rising as a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. In 2020, the United States used roughly 5% of its total primary energy supply, or close to 5 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu).


    • Wood and wood waste

For thousands of years, people have utilised wood for lighting, heating, and cooking. Up until the middle of the 1800s, the United States and the rest of the world relied primarily on wood for energy.  About 2.3 per cent of the nation’s total energy consumption in 2020 came from wood and wood waste, including bark, sawdust, wood chips, wood scrap, and byproducts from paper mills.

    • Municipal solid waste

Municipal solid waste (MSW), also known as rubbish, is converted into electricity at waste-to-energy facilities and landfills in the US.MSW contains

  • Biomass, or biogenic (plant or animal products), materials such as paper, cardboard, food waste, grass clippings, leaves, wood, and leather products
  • Nonbiomass combustible materials such as plastics and other synthetic materials made from petroleum
  • Noncombustible materials such as glass and metals
    • Landfill gas and biogas

Municipal solid waste landfills are a source of biogas. Landfill gas, often known as biogas, is a naturally occurring gas produced in municipal solid waste landfills by anaerobic bacteria. Because methane is combustible, landfill gas with a high methane content may be hazardous to both people and the environment. Another potent greenhouse gas is methane. Hydrogen sulphide, which is unpleasant and could be dangerous when present in large quantities, is present in biogas in trace amounts.

    • Ethanol

It is possible to employ biomass resources, or “feedstocks,” to create ethanol, a clear, colourless alcohol (the raw materials used to make a product). As ethanol feedstocks, grains and plants with high starch and sugar content—such as maize, sorghum, barley, sugar cane, and sugar beets—are employed. As feedstocks for ethanol production, a variety of plants can be used, including trees, grasses like switchgrass, and agricultural and forestry wastes like corn cobs and stocks, rice straw, sawdust, and wood chips. A denaturant is added to ethanol to make it unsuitable for use as a biofuel. This process creates fuel ethanol.

    • Biodiesel

Examples of biomass-based diesel fuels used as petroleum distillate fuel oil include biodiesel and renewable diesel (diesel fuel and heating oil). Both are referred to as biomass-based diesel fuels since they are predominantly produced for use in diesel engines. They are also suitable as fuels for heaters. Although both fuels are made from biomass or molecules that are obtained from biomass, their physical properties and production processes differ. Renewable Fuel Standard Program for biofuel consumption levels.

  • Hydropower

People have a long history of using the force of water flowing in streams and rivers to produce mechanical energy. One of the first energy sources used to create electricity was hydropower, which today accounts for the majority of the nation’s yearly electricity production from renewable sources.

  • Geothermal

Geothermal energy is the name for the earth’s heat. The Greek words geo (earth) and there are the sources of the word geothermal (heat). Due to the ongoing production of heat deep inside the ground, geothermal energy is a renewable energy source.

  • Wind

The uneven heating of the earth’s surface by the sun is what generates wind. Various types of land and water on the earth’s surface absorb the sun’s heat at different rates. The daily wind cycle is one illustration of this inequitable heating.

  • Solar

The sun is the ultimate source of all the energy and fuels that we use today and has been producing energy for billions of years. Humans have used solar radiation as a source of heat for thousands of years, as well as to dry meat, fruit, and cereals. Over time, mankind created ways to harness solar energy for electricity and heat.

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