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Renewable Energy

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  What is Renewable Energy? Renewable energy is energy generated from natural resources  —  such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat  —  which are renewable (naturally replenished). Renewable energy technologies range from solar  power, wind power, hydroelectricity/micro hydro, biomass and bio fuels for transportation. Renewable energy  is energy that is generated from natural processes that are continuously replenished. This includes sunlight, geothermal heat, wind, tides, water, and various forms of biomass. This energy cannot be exhausted and is constantly renewed. Alternative energy  is a term used for an energy source that is an alternative to using fossil fuels. Generally, it indicates energies that are non-traditional and have low environmental impact. The term alternative is used to contrast with fossil fuels according to some sources. By most definitions alternative energy doesn't harm the environment, a distinction which separates it from renewable energy which may or may not have significant environmental impact.  Renewable energy is any energy source that is naturally replenished, like that derived from solar, wind, geothermal or hydroelectric action. Energy produced from the refining of biomass is also often classified as renewable. Coal, oil or natural gas, on the other hand, are finite sources.   What is Biomass? Biomass , is a renewable organic matter, and can include biological material derived from living, or recently living organisms, such as wood, waste, and alcohol fuels. Wood energy is derived both from harvested wood as a fuel and from wood waste products. Waste energy can be generated from municipal waste, manufacturing waste, and landfill gas. Biomass alcohol fuel, or ethanol, is derived almost exclusively from corn. What is Biodiesel?  Biodiesel  is fuel made from plant oils that can be used in diesel engines. They are typically made of renewable organic raw materials such as soybean or rapeseed oils, animal fats, waste vegetable oils or microalgae oils. There are many sources of energy that are renewable and considered to be environmentally friendly and harness natural processes. These sources of energy provide an alternate ‗cleaner‘ source of energy, helping to negate the effects of certain forms of pollution. All of these power generation techniques can be described as renewable since they are not depleting any resource to create the energy. While there are many large-scale renewable energy projects and production, renewable technologies are also suited to small off-grid applications, sometimes in rural and remote areas, where energy is often crucial in human development. 10   Tidal Power Tidal energy can be generated in two ways, tidal stream generators or by barrage generation. The power created though tidal generators is generally more environmentally friendly and causes less impact on established ecosystems. Similar to a wind turbine, many tidal stream generators rotate  underwater and is driven by the swiftly moving dense water. Although not yet widely used, tidal power has potential for future electricity generation. Tides are more predictable than wind energy and solar power. Historically, tide mills have been used, both in Europe and on the Atlantic coast of the USA. The earliest occurrences date from the Middle Ages, or even from Roman times. Tidal power is the only form of energy which derives directly from the relative motions of the Earth  – Moon system, and to a lesser extent from the Earth  – Sun system. The tidal forces produced by the Moon and Sun, in combination with Earth‘s rotation, are responsible for the generation of the tides. British company Lunar Energy announced that they wo uld be building the world‘s first tidal energy farm off the coast of Pembrokshire in Wales. It will be the world‘s first deep-sea tidal-energy farm and will provide electricity for 5,000 homes. Eight underwater turbines, each 25 metres long and 15 metres high, are to be installed on the sea bottom off St David‘s peninsula. Construction is due to start in the summer of 2008 and the proposed tidal energy turbines, described as ―a wind farm under the sea‖, should be operational by 2010.   9   Wave Power  Wave power is the transport of energy by ocean surface waves, and the capture of that energy to do useful work —  for example for electricity generation, water desalination, or the pumping of water (into reservoirs). Wave energy can be difficult to harness due to the unpredictability of the ocean and wave direction. Wave farms have been created and are in use in Europe, using floating Pelamis Wave Energy converters. Most wave power systems include the use of a floating buoyed device and generate energy through a snaking motion, or by mechanical movement from the waves peaks and troughs. Though often co-mingled, wave power is distinct from the diurnal flux of tidal power and the steady gyre of ocean currents. Wave power generation is not currently a widely employed commercial technology although there have been attempts at using it since at least 1890. The world‘s first commercial wave farm is based in Portugal, at the Aguçadora Wave Park, which consists of three 750 kilowatt Pelamis devices. In the United States, the Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative is funding the building of a commercial wave-power park at Reedsport, Oregon. The project will utilize the PowerBuoy technology Ocean Power Technologies which consists of modular, ocean-going buoys. The rising and falling of the waves moves the buoy-like structure creating mechanical energy which is converted into electricity and transmitted to shore over a submerged transmission line. A 40 kW buoy has a diameter of 12 feet (4 m) and is 52 feet (16 m) long, with approximately 13 feet of the unit rising above the ocean surface. Using the three-point mooring system, they are designed to be installed one to five miles (8 km) offshore in water 100 to 200 feet (60 m) deep. 8   Solar Power
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