Renewable energy

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Types of Renewable Energy
Types of Renewable Energy; Picture Source: ERM-Siam Co., Ltd.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is energy that is derived from natural processes. Solar, wind, geothermal, hydro energy, bioenergy and ocean energy are sources of renewable energy. The role of renewables continues to increase in the electricity, heating and cooling and transport sectors.


Bioenergy is energy derived from the conversion of biomass where biomass may be used directly as fuel, or processed into liquids and gases.

Bioenergy is providing 10% of world primary energy supply. It plays a crucial role in many developing countries, where it provides basic energy for cooking and space heating, but often at the price of severe health and environmental impacts. The deployment of advanced biomass cook stoves, clean fuels and additional off-grid biomass electricity supply in developing countries are key measures to improve the current situation and achieve universal access to clean energy facilities by 2030.

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy can provide low-carbon base-load power, heat (and cooling) from high-temperature hydrothermal resources, deep aquifer systems with low and medium temperatures, and hot rock resources.

Geothermal power comprises mature renewable technology options that can provide base-load power from energy stored in trapped vapor and liquids. Enhanced geothermal technologies are under development that would allow to greatly expanding the use of this technology family beyond countries that have resources suitable for established technologies.

Hydro energy

Hydro energy derives energy from turbines being spun by fresh flowing water. This can be from rivers or from man-made installations, where water flows from a high-level reservoir down through a tunnel and away from a dam.

Hydro energy is the largest single renewable electricity source today, providing 16% of world electricity at competitive prices. It dominates the electricity mix in several countries, developed, emerging or developing.

Ocean Energy

Ocean energy encompasses five different types of technologies that exploit the following phenomena.

  1. Tidal power: the potential energy associated with tides can be harnessed by building a barrage or other forms of construction across an estuary.
  2. Tidal (marine) currents: the kinetic energy associated with tidal (marine) currents can be harnessed using modular systems.
  3. Wave power: is essentially power drawn from waves. The energy output is measured by wave speed, wave height, and wavelength and water density. The captured energy can then be used for electricity generation, powering plants or pumping of water.
  4. Temperature gradients: the temperature gradient between the sea surface and deep water can be harnessed using different ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) processes.
  5. Salinity gradients: at the mouth of rivers, where freshwater mixes with saltwater, energy associated with the salinity gradient can be harnessed using the pressure-retarded reverse osmosis process and associated conversion technologies.


Solar Energy

Solar energy is the conversion of sunlight into usable energy forms e.g. solar photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar power (CSP) etc.

  1. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems directly convert solar energy into electricity. The most established solar PV technologies are crystalline silicon-based systems. Solar PV combines two advantages. On the one hand, module manufacturing can be done in large plants, which allows for economies of scale. On the other hand, PV is a very modular technology.
  2. Concentrating solar power (CSP) devices concentrate energy from the sun’s rays to heat a receiver to high temperatures. This heat is then transformed into electricity – solar thermal electricity (STE).

Wind Energy

Wind energy is kinetic energy of wind exploited for electricity generation in wind turbines.

Wind energy is developing towards a mainstream, competitive and reliable power technology. Globally, progress continues to be strong, with more active countries and players, and increasing annual installed capacity and investments. Technology improvements have continuously reduced energy costs, especially on land. The industry has overcome supply bottlenecks and expanded supply chains.





Categories: Sustainable Living


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