Monday, June 20, 2011

Introduction to renewable energy

Renewable energy will likely rule the world in future, at least this is what most energy experts say about it. This is not only because renewable energy is environmentally more friendly option when compared with fossil fuels but also because renewable energy source are not finite resources as they are constantly being replenished.

So why don't we then use more of renewable energy? Well, first of all our entire economies are based on fossil fuels which means that fossil fuels have tradition on their side. Not only that, fossil fuels are still cheaper option compared to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

Renewable energy still has plenty to prove to the world before reaching the wider scale of usage. I'm not only saying this because of relatively high costs connected with many renewable energy technologies but also because of intermittency issue. Solar and wind, two of the most popular renewable energy source are intermittent sources, meaning that they are not available all the time, and are in need of some energy backup option, like for instance energy storage.

The current renewable energy leader in China, not only in terms of new renewable energy jobs but also min terms of adding new renewable energy capacity. United States is currently not only well behind China but also well behind EU which means that U.S. will have to significantly change its current energy policy in order to have any chance in catching the China's lead in clean energy race. The ideal solution to give strong boost to U.S. renewable energy sector would be federal renewable energy standard but given the current political situation in United States any major renewable energy legislation looks highly unlikely on national level.

The renewable energy resources list includes not only solar and wind energy but also geothermal energy, tidal and wave energy, hydropower. Nuclear energy is not renewable energy source, it can be argues whether it is a clean energy source or not but it certainly isn't renewable energy source.

The fastest growing renewable energy sector is currently the solar energy sector. This wasn't the case in period from 2000-2010 when wind power lead the way but currently solar energy industry is one of the fastest developing industries, not only in United States, bot on the global level as well.