A Complete Guide to 7 Renewable Energy Sources

The topic of renewable energy is always in the news but nowadays it has taken on an even more important role in society. That's because many people are concerned about minimizing the use of so-called "fossil fuels." Fossil fuels like oil are not renewable. There is only a certain amount that we can use before the earth's storage areas will begin to run out.

Many scientists have begun to look at renewable energy as the answer to this dilemma. in fact, the typical electricity company is at the forefront of the search for renewable energy sources as well as a renewable clean energy source.

Renewable Energy Sources

There are dozens of renewable sources of energy but several of them are more promising and practical than others, due to economic and other factors. What is renewable energy sources? They are forms of energy that will not run out, like wind and solar. But in addition to those two, which are the most well-known, there are other scientifically promising forms of renewable energy.

  • Wind: You've probably seen the "wind farms" all around the U.S. These new types of windmills are able to generate a decent amount of electrical power using nothing but the power of nature's wind motion.
  • Solar: Solar power comes from the sun and is the most promising form of renewable energy today. Scientists are constantly working to perfect the method and make solar cells more efficient. Already, many millions of private homes and businesses use solar panels to gather needed electrical power.
  • Hydro: The power of falling water in hydro plants has been around for more than 100 years. Some of the nation's largest power sources are plants like Hoover Dam, which generates massive amounts of electrical power every hour.
  • Geothermal: Geothermal heat is produced in vast quantities inside the earth. Already, there are multiple geothermal power plants in operation. The limiting factor is related to location because you can only get heat from the earth in certain locations. However, research is focused on transporting the energy efficiently and for a lower cost.
  • Tidal: Capturing the power of the ocean's rising tides is an older method of generating power. The newest research in this area focuses on gathering large amounts of energy at lower costs from tidal movements of the seas.
  • Biomass: Using the power of chemical decomposition from organic plants is one of the older forms of alternative energy. Scientists are still trying to figure out ways to make this renewable energy resource more efficient and less costly. However, it is already in use as a resource on many farms that have large amounts of surplus plant matter.
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cells: This high-tech method of harnessing the molecular power within the hydrogen molecule is still in the early stages of development but has shown great promise in the laboratory and in some experimental vehicles.

What Does the Future Look Like?

Science is always coming up with new ideas for alternate energy resources. Right now, some of the things in the planning stages are just too costly to be considered practical, or they are considered to be very dangerous. The good news is that the seven sources listed above are renewable, practical and already have been used to some extent by consumers in the U.S.

About the Author

Miller Lopez is a freelance content writer. While working on a freelance basis for several years for a handful of private companies, he began writing part-time. That eventually led to becoming a full-time freelance writer.

About Olga Lockhart

Olga Lockhart, Marketing Manager for Pathway Design & Construction, researches, analyzes, and writes about these key topics: Universal Design, Aging in Place, Northwest building & Seattle remodeling trends, air quality issues, and solutions, during construction. She's also willing to chat about travel and culture out of the office.