Our world has always depended on fossil fuels like coal, petroleum, and natural gas for energy. But thanks to our planet’s resources, we have other renewable energy sources, such as hydropower, biopower, wind, solar, and geothermal energy! It’s just a matter of tapping our resources and making the most of them.
Sure, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many industries and their initiatives to start utilizing renewable energy sources. But even before the pandemic, many companies and even families have been shifting towards clean and sustainable energy. In fact, 40 percent of the United States’ total energy use came from non-fossil fuel sources in 2020.
Using renewable energy sources comes with a handful of benefits. The primary one is saving our planet by conserving fossil fuels, reversing climate change, and reducing extreme weather conditions. Along with these are boosting the economy, providing employment, and improving and saving people’s lives.
Let’s take a look at the new and emerging trends in renewable energy.
Multiple Renewable Energy Sources
It’s important to identify the different types of renewable energy. Below are alternative energy sources:
- Hydropower: This type taps energy from water, which covers 71 percent of the planet’s surface. As such, hydropower is considered the most widely used among renewable energy sources. In fact, it contributes to over 50 percent of renewable energy’s power generation. The process involves harnessing the energy from the moving water and turning it into electricity.
- Wind energy: This type comes next to hydropower in terms of power generation and use. In fact, the wind industry is thriving in certain parts of the world like the US, UK, and China. It’s easy to see wind turbines in wind farms converting kinetic energy into electrical energy. Companies in this industry invest in wind energy transportation, tools and technologies, and even manpower.
- Solar energy: This type is deemed the fastest growing renewable energy source in 2021. But as of the moment, it ranks third, next to hydropower and wind energy. However, solar energy has a lot of potentials. In fact, the solar radiation coming from the sun and hitting the planet is enough to cover all human activities. It’s just a matter of developing technologies and tapping this energy.
- Biopower: This is the fourth-largest renewable energy source. Biomass and biofuel are derived from renewable energy from plants and animals, specifically from earthy materials like wastes, woods, crops, and even landfill gas. It entails direct heating, which then produces energy. When it comes to biopower generation, China, UK, and India are the leading countries in this energy production.
- Geothermal energy: This type is the last on the list but shows a lot of potentials. This energy is harnessed from the high temperature emitted by the planet’s surface. Therefore, geothermal energy lies in areas near volcanoes and earthquakes. The process requires a drilling well that pumps water heated by warm rocks. Key players in geothermal production include Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the Philippines, and the US.
New and Emerging Trends in Renewable Energy
Now, let’s take a look at some new and emerging trends in renewable energy. Take note of the following:
- The Rise of Green Hydrogen: As we may be aware, the world is heavily dependent on fossil fuels for running vehicles, machines, and equipment pieces. Green hydrogen involves the electrolysis of water used to power various industries. Its utilization can be such a game-changer in the world.
- The Shift to Geothermal Energy: As mentioned above, geothermal energy is the last on the list in terms of energy consumption. But in recent years, we’ve seen many industries shifting towards the use of geothermal energy. They build underground reservoirs for hot water and steam to generate power for heating or cooling.
- Going Green Initiatives: Going green has become such a buzzword in various industries. And one way to do so is to switch from conventional to renewable energy sources. Many businesses and families are using solar, wind, and geothermal energy for their power and electricity.
- The Offer of Tax Credit for Sustainability: It’s good that the governments are now offering tax credits to companies that go for solar energy over fossil fuels. Many businesses have started to take advantage of this tax credit. In the next few years, expect more and more companies to shift to renewable energy sources.
There are no signs of stopping the rise of renewable energy sources. Whether hydropower, solar energy, or geothermal energy, this alternative energy is deemed valuable and beneficial to our planet and its people. Consider new and emerging trends such as the rise of green hydrogen, the shift to geothermal energy, going green initiatives, and tax credit offers for sustainability. All these will be reshaping our world and carving our future — hopefully for the better!