Wind, which is caused by the uneven heating of the Earth’s surface by the sun, can be used to generate electricity. A wind turbine is used to collect the wind’s kinetic energy from its blades and converts the motion of the blades to electricity with an electric generator.
The benefits of wind energy are:
The limitations of wind energy are:
Biomass is organic material from plants or animals. When considering the process of photosynthesis, biomass essentially contains stored energy from the sun. When burned, the chemical energy from the biomass is converted to heat and can be converted to electricity.
Biomass is renewable because new crops can be grown in a relatively short period of time and they will always create waste. Examples of biomass fuels are wood, crops, manure, and garbage.
The benefits of biomass energy are:
The limitations of biomass energy are:
Geothermal energy is generated from the heat from within the earth. The heat can be moved to heat buildings or generate electricity. Heat from the earth is constantly replenished and thus renewable. The three main uses of geothermal energy are: direct use for heating systems, electricity generation power plants and geothermal heat pumps.
The benefits of geothermal energy are:
The limitations of geothermal energy are:
Hydropower is energy produced from moving water. Since hydropower relies on the earth’s water cycle to replenish the water supply, hydropower is considered renewable.
Two main sources of hydropower are the natural run of rivers and storage systems such as a dam. Mechanical energy is harnessed from the moving water from these sources and can turn an electric generation turbine to produce electricity. Ocean tides and waves can also be a source of energy, however they are not as prevalent as the use of dams and rivers.