What are Renewable Energy Sources?

renewable energy sources
writer Ekolojist

Before giving information about renewable energy sources What is renewable energy? Let's answer the question.

What is Renewable Energy?

Renewable energy is energy obtained from natural resources and can renew itself naturally. For these reasons, the terms clean energy or sustainable energy are also used for renewable energy.

20th century a concept that has entered our lives since it was realized that there are energy sources other than oil in our world. renewable energy sources It is one of the most important agenda items among the future plans of both countries and large companies.

What are Renewable Energy Sources?

Renewable energy sources are all energy sources that can renew themselves continuously in the natural cycle of the world. While fossil energy sources such as coal, oil and natural gas run out over time, renewable energy sources are constantly renewed and never run out.

Renewable energy sources are briefly:

  1. Solar energy
  2. Wind power
  3. Geothermal energy
  4. Bioenergy/Biomass Energy
  5. Hydroelectric Energy
  6. hydrogen energy
  7. wave energy

What are the Characteristics of Renewable Energy Sources? 

Renewable energy sources play the most important role in terms of sustainability and meeting the needs.

  1. Renewable energy sources generally provide energy in four key areas: electricity generation, air and water heating/cooling, transportation, and rural (off-grid) energy services.
  2. Renewable energy sources have an important place as they ensure that energy, which is the most important element for the development of a country, is produced in the cleanest and most sustainable way.
  3. Renewable energy sources are important for environmental protection because they reduce the use of fossil fuels.
  4. Renewable energy sources are constantly renewed and not exhausted, thus reducing foreign dependency.
  5. Renewable energy sources provide new employment and reduce unemployment.

Let's take a closer look at these resources:

1. Solar Energy

renewable energy sources

Solar energy is perhaps the most common renewable energy source. Solar energy, as the name suggests, is energy from the Sun. Solar energy is produced through solar panels.

Light from the sun comes as ultraviolet, visible and infrared rays. Visible light is the spectrum of colors we are used to seeing, but ultraviolet and infrared cannot be seen.

Why is it important to use solar energy?

Solar energy is a renewable energy source. It is free to use and does not harm the environment.

Most of the electricity produced today is produced by burning fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide and pollution. Solar energy does not have any emissions into the air, so it is a clean source of energy and does not harm our planet.

How does solar energy turn into electricity?

When light hits a solar panel, it reacts with the silicon crystals in each solar panel to produce an electric current.

The electric current is then transferred to the National Grid.

The National Grid is a system of cables and wires that transfers electricity from power stations across the country to homes and businesses.

2. Wind Energy

what is wind energy

Wind arises as a result of giant convection currents created by heat energy from the Sun in the Earth's atmosphere. This means that the kinetic energy in the wind is a renewable energy source – as long as the sun exists, so will the wind.

Wind turbines are used in wind power generation. A wind turbine generally consists of tower, generator, speed converters (gear box), electrical and electronic elements and propeller. The wind blowing over the blades of turbines, which have huge blades mounted on a tall tower, lift the blades and make them turn.

Advantages of Wind Energy

Wind is a renewable energy source and has no fuel costs.

No harmful polluting gas is produced.

Disadvantages of Wind Energy

Wind farms are noisy and can disturb those living nearby.

The amount of electricity produced depends on the strength of the wind.

If there is no wind, there is no electricity.

3. Geothermal Energy

geothermal energy


Geothermal means ground heat. The waters that reach the earth surface with natural events and especially precipitation reach the magma layer through cracks in the earth's crust. The heated water in the magma layer reaches the earth again as hot water and steam. This water and steam reaching the earth enables the generation of geothermal energy through turbines and the energy generated through power plants is converted into electricity.

Geothermal and nuclear energy is the only energy source that does not come from the Sun.

Advantages of Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source and has no fuel costs.

No harmful polluting gas is produced.

Disadvantages of Geothermal Energy

Most parts of the world do not have suitable areas to benefit from geothermal energy.

4. Bioenergy/Biomass Energy

biomass energy

By decomposing agricultural wastes, forest sector organic wastes, animal wastes (slaughterhouse wastes, feces, etc.) or city waste water in an oxygen-free environment; The fuel obtained through living (biological) sources such as various aquatic plants is called Biogas, and this type of energy is called Biomass Energy (biomass). In short, the energy obtained from organic materials in various ways is biomass energy.

Biomass is costly to transport and is as expensive as coal. They also emit atmospheric pollutants when burned. Greenhouse gases such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are released.

5. Hydroelectric Energy

hydroelectric power

Hydroelectric energy describes the process of converting flowing water into electrical energy through hydroelectric power plants called HEPPs. Hydroelectric energy is also a renewable and sustainable energy source thanks to the flow of water.

In hydroelectric energy, the amount of energy produced varies according to the power of the flowing water. The higher the water flows, the higher the amount of energy produced.

In hydroelectric power plants, water can also be transported through channels or pipes. The mechanical energy released by the rotation of the propellers with the flow of water is converted into electrical energy.

Hydroelectric energy can be used in transportation, fishing and irrigation as well as electricity generation. However, the installation process is very long and the investment cost is high. Moreover, there is a risk of flooding in disasters such as earthquakes.

6. Hydrogen Energy

hydrogen energy

Hydrogen energy is a chemical energy released in its molecules as a result of the pure decomposition of hydrogen, the most abundant element in nature.

This energy can be used by converting it into heat and electricity forms by various methods. In addition, it can be characterized as a clean and renewable energy source, as it releases water or water vapor as a result of decomposition.

Hydrogen energy does not emit any harmful greenhouse gases to the environment, only water and water vapor are produced, and its energy potential is also very high. However, since hydrogen is found as a compound in nature, it is necessary to process and convert hydrogen gas to purify it, and this conversion technology is very costly. For this reason, although hydrogen energy is among the renewable energy sources, it is not a natural energy type.

7. Wave Energy

wave energy

Waves are a powerful and unlimited renewable energy source. Wave energy is the conversion of the force in the waves formed by the wind in the ocean or sea into electrical energy by using it. It is a recently developed power generation management that uses the force of the waves through the wind to generate electricity. It converts the oscillating movement of the wind on the waves and below the surface into energy with wave generators.

Since wave energy is a renewable energy source that has the least impact on the environment and it eliminates the environmental pollution problem, which is one of the problems that every electricity generation facility has, it also provides a great benefit in terms of efficiency and usage cost.

Importance of Renewable Energy Sources

Renewable energy is an indispensable part of the consumer society we live in. Because this consumption process of a society that consumes constantly but does more harm than good to the environment with what it produces will not be able to survive in such a trend and will disappear in the near future. That's why too The importance of renewable energy sources it is quite large.

In addition, when the damage caused by non-renewable energies (coal, oil, etc.) to the environment is taken into account, it is very clear how beneficial renewable energy sources can be.

renewable energy sources

Advantages and Disadvantages of Renewable Energy

Advantages of Renewable Energy

There are many advantages to using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels. Here are some of the most important benefits of being environmentalist and renewable energy sources:

1. Renewable energy will not run out

Renewable energy technologies use resources directly from the environment to generate power. These energy sources include sunlight, wind, tides and biomass, to name some of the more popular options. Renewable resources will not run out, which cannot be said for many types of fossil fuels – as we use fossil fuel sources, they will become increasingly difficult to obtain, possibly increasing both the cost and environmental impact of extraction.

2. Lower maintenance requirements

In most cases, renewable energy technologies require less general maintenance than generators using traditional fuel sources. This is because manufacturing technology such as solar panels and wind turbines has few or no moving parts and does not rely on flammable, combustible fuel sources to operate. Less maintenance means more time and money savings.

3. Renewable energy saves

Using renewable energy can help you save money in the long run. You not only save on maintenance costs, but also on operating costs. When you use technology that generates power from the sun, wind, steam or natural processes, you don't have to pay for refueling. The amount of money you'll save using renewable energy can vary depending on a number of factors, including the technology itself. In many cases, switching to renewable energy means savings of hundreds to thousands of dollars.

4. Renewable energy has many health and environmental benefits

Renewable energy generation sources emit little or no greenhouse gases or pollutants into the air. This means a smaller carbon footprint and an overall positive impact on the natural environment. During the combustion process, fossil fuels release large amounts of greenhouse gases that have been proven to exacerbate the rise in global temperatures and the frequency of extreme weather events.

The use of fossil fuels emits not only greenhouse gases, but also other harmful pollutants that cause respiratory and heart health problems. With renewable energy, you contribute to reducing the prevalence of these pollutants and an overall healthier atmosphere.

5. Renewables reduce dependency on foreign energy sources

You can generate energy locally with renewable energy technologies. The more renewable energy you use for your power needs, the less you rely on imported energy.

Disadvantages of Renewable Energy

Renewable energy has many benefits, but renewable energy may not always yield effective results. Some disadvantages of using renewable sources over conventional fuel sources.

1. Higher upfront cost

You can save money by using renewable energy, but the technologies are often more expensive than traditional energy generators. To combat this, there are often fiscal incentives such as tax credits and rebates to help mitigate the initial costs of renewable technology.

2. Interrupted

Although renewable energy sources are found all over the world, most of these sources are not available 7/24 throughout the year. Some days can be windier than others, the sun doesn't shine at night, and droughts can occur from time to time. Unpredictable weather events can disrupt these technologies. Fossil fuels are uninterrupted and ready for use whenever they want.

3. Storage capabilities

Due to the intermittent nature of some renewable energy sources, there is a great need for energy storage. With storage technologies available today, they can be expensive, especially for large-scale renewable power plants. It should be noted that as technology advances, energy storage capacity increases and batteries become more cost-effective as time goes on.

4. Geographical limitations

Each country has a different geography with varying climates, topographies, vegetation and more. This means that there are some geographies that are better suited for renewable technologies than others. For example, a large farm with open space might be a great place for a residential wind turbine or solar system, while a townhouse that is overshadowed by taller buildings in a city cannot.

renewable energy sources

What Is Not a Renewable Energy Source?

Fossil fuels are not a renewable energy source as they are not infinite. They also release carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, which contributes to climate change and global warming.

Burning wood instead of coal is slightly better, but complicated. On the one hand, wood is a renewable resource provided it comes from sustainably managed forests. Wood pellets and compressed briquettes are made from by-products of the woodworking industry and are therefore likely involved in the recycling of waste.

On the other hand, when wood is burned (raw timber or processed waste) particles are released into our atmosphere.

What are Non-Renewable Energy Sources?

Radioactive substances such as coal and its derivatives, petroleum and its derivatives, natural gas and its derivatives, uranium are widely used. non-renewable energy are the sources.

What are Renewable Energy Sources in Our Country? 

The most widely used renewable energy sources in Turkey are solar and wind energy. Especially with the recent investments in wind energy in Turkey, The share of renewable energy plants in the total electricity capacity has increased to 53% (2021 year-end figure). 

Importance of Renewable Energy Sources for Turkey's Future

Unfortunately, our country is far behind the world standards in renewable energy production compared to other world countries. However, due to the geographical location of our country, it is highly suitable for the production of renewable energy sources. Especially if it is worked on wind, solar and geothermal energy, it can be benefited a lot.

Countries need to turn to renewable energy. Because renewable energies are gold for countries both to increase the level of development and to reduce the energy cost. Moreover, the fact that the damage they cause to the environment is negligible increases the attractiveness of these energies.

If Turkey produces more projects and starts to produce renewable energy in order to benefit from renewable energies for our present and future, its level of development will increase and it will present a more beautiful country to us and to future generations by keeping the environment clean.

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