Renewable Energy Explained

Here at Eco-Centric, we talk a lot about “renewable energy.”

So, what exactly is renewable energy, what makes it a “green” option, and why is it such a big deal? Check out our helpful Q&A, below, to get answers to a few of your most commonly asked questions.

What is Renewable Energy?

Renewable energy derives from sources that are easily replenished and virtually inexhaustible, such as the wind or the sun. Generally, renewable energy has a much lower carbon footprint than traditional methods of energy production, such as the burning of fossil fuels.

In stark contrast, energy from fossil fuels (such as coal, oil, and natural gas), come from finite sources that will eventually run out. Collection and burning of fossil fuels (such as oil drilling or coal mining) also releases harmful carbon emissions into the atmosphere, whichcan cause potentially devastating ecological/environmental effects.

What Are the Different Forms of Renewable Energy?

In previous blogs, we’ve covered the basics of solar power and wind power, two of the most popular forms of renewable energy available on the market today. However, there are other renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectric power, bioenergy, hydrogen conversion, ocean energy and geothermal energy. Stay tuned with us at Eco-Centric as we cover these options in-depth in future blog posts.

Why Is Renewable Energy Important?

It’s no secret that global warming is one of the largest environmental issues facing our planet today.

Experts, scientists, and researchers alike agree that humans are a major cause of today’s global warming and climate change, primarily due to the carbon emissions and greenhouse gases that our lifestyles create. Many of these carbon emissions are released through everyday activities, such as driving, heating and cooling our homes, and utilizing electricity.

In an ideal world, all energy would come from renewable sources. This would mean no more oil drilling/unfortunate oil spills, fewer harmful carbon emissions released into the atmosphere and reduced effects of global warming.

Though there is still a long road ahead, every day, scientists make discoveries that help renewable energy sources become viable options for future generations. 

What Can I Do To Make An Impact?

There are a number of ways you, your family or your business can take advantage of renewable energy. Conduct some research in your community aboutrenewable energy projects or initiatives that you can volunteer for or donate to.

Installing photovoltaic (or PV) panels to take advantage of solar power is another way to make a difference, though this is still a rather expensive endeavor.

For families on a budget, purchasing carbon offsets is a great way to make a difference. These carbon credits go towards a variety of renewable/sustainable projects, some of which include renewable energy initiatives.

Lastly, signing up for an energy provider such as JustEnergy ensures that the power coming to your home derives from more renewable sources than traditional, fossil-fueled energy. Learn more about JustEnergy’s products and services here.

Questions about renewable energy? Feel free to ask us on Facebook and Twitter. Together, we can make a difference.

Resources:

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/tech/home

http://life.gaiam.com/article/how-get-green-energy-your-home-and-save-money

http://www.nrel.gov/

 

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