Of all the available resources, non-renewable energy resources are the least abundant, and yet they are also the most widely used. In the last century, we have devastated the earth’s natural resources and put a tremendous strain on local and global economies. Environmental awareness has also been increasing, and this has led to deeper research into types of renewable energy. The use of renewable resources such as solar energy, wind energy, biomass, geothermal energy, and water, has been spreading.
The sun is a direct energy resource, and an indirect resource for most of the other types of renewing resources. The energy of the sun is used to produce electricity that keeps our families, our businesses, and even our towns up and running. It is used to heat water and cool air. Solar power is a type of renewable energy that can be harnessed all over to varying degrees.
Wind energy, which comes from the sun’s heating effect on the air, can also be used for providing electricity. Energy from the wind is collected by wind turbines and then applied to agriculture, industry, and home uses. It is the reaction of sun and wind that causes water evaporation, which leads to precipitation of snow and rain. The water from rain and melting snow flows into our earth’s streams and rivers, where the energy can be turned into hydroelectric power.
Another type of renewable energy is biomass. Energy from biomass comes from organic matter, which grows and develops from sun and water. The bioenergy we receive from biomass makes fuels, chemicals, and electricity we can use to survive and assist all life on earth. Bioenergy, or life energy, is a resource that continues to renew year after year.
All renewable energies do not come from solar resources. The energy we can get from heat inside the earth is called geothermal energy. Geothermal energy can provide the energy we need for electricity, as well as heating and cooling.
Our earth is made up of seven continents, which are surrounded by oceans, which provide two important sources of energy. Tides and wind create waves. Tidal energy is renewable, and wave energy is consistently renewable with wind, water, and tides. That is not all there is! The difference in temperature of ocean water from the icy cold depths to the shallower, warmer water that has been heated by the sun is also a source of energy.
Our large-scale consumption of non-renewing energy is damaging the environment we live in. We can make a dramatic change for the better by using sources that will not run out, but continue to renew and sustain the world. The destruction of our rainforests is due in large part to energy consumption. Oil drilling and coal mining strips the land and leaves toxins in our air and water. The side effect of using these fuels is damage to all living things.
Replacing energy that cannot replenish with renewable energy sources will have beneficial effects on the economy. Those who work for an industry that is guaranteed to deal with shortages and eventually exhaust its resources probably find it difficult to relax and feel comfortable about their financial future. However, when people work in the renewable energy industry, they can be certain that renewable energy will always need to be collected and maintained. Instead of investing in resources that are drained from countries thousands of miles away, investors will invest in an energy that will continue to renew.
As residents of the earth, we not only have a responsibility to our planet, we have a personal stake in its survival. We can either gorge on energy that cannot renew and leaves the world in ever-worsening shape, or we can choose to get our power from all of the types of renewable energy. For the sake of future generations, we need to stop hurting our earth and start healing it.
At dumpsterrentalvirginiabeach.org we have been serious about ecological initiatives like recycling and also renewable energy sources whenever opportunity presents itself.