Wind Energy Guide
 

What is Renewable Energy?
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Renewable energy represents energy that is generated from natural sources and is thus naturally replenished or constantly renewed. These include energy related to wind, sunlight, water, biomass and geothermal (heat).


What Is Renewable Energy

 

Excessive CO˛ concentration over the earth’s surface due to running of fossil fuel operated power houses, steady rate of global warming causing thaw in the Arctic region, increased emission of greenhouse gases together with high oil prices have made governments offer incentives as well tax credits to people using renewable or alternative from of energy. The new US President Barack Hussein Obama have already declared, “Any company that’s willing to invest in clean energy will have an ally in Washington”, venture capital flowing into renewable energy in the US have soared from $80 billion in 2005 to a whopping $100 billion in 2006.

 

Of all the available renewable energies harnessed so far for generation of electricity, wind energy appears to be progressing at the highest rate (30% annually) with globally installed capacity of well over 100GW. And in this, the European nations have taken the lion’s share in these ventures, followed by the United States. In the case of solar power too, Europe had advanced more than the US. PV or photovoltaic power stations are more common in Germany and Spain as compared to continental America. Solar thermal power stations function regularly in Spain and in the US, the largest 354MW SEGS power plant is located in the Mojave Desert. In terms of geothermal power utilization, USA has done pretty well. The Geysers in California has a rated capacity of 750MW. Amazingly, Brazil is credited with having the largest renewable energy programs in the world by producing ethanol from sugar cane. Several large scale installations for production of ethanol through grains are already progressing in the USA now.

 

Renewable wind energy is commonly used now for generating electricity through wind turbines. Perched atop high towers at suitable places where wind current is usually strong, the turbine blades rotate in a fairly high revolution, thereby generating electricity through a generator coupled to the turbine’s drive shaft. Although it usually produces DC voltage, it is eventually converted to 120V AC for general use. The turbine’s output line is often connected to battery banks where the generated current is stored for use as and when needed. Turbines may be small or big. Smaller ones are usually meant for home electricity generation while larger turbines provide higher outputs in Wind Farms that often supply power to the grid.

 

Renewable solar energy is also used for generating electricity through photovoltaic solar cells. The silicon particles within the cell release the electrons, thereby generating electricity. Several PV cells are connected together to form a solar panel that creates electricity to supplement the grid power in average homes. This type of renewable energy technology often proves beneficial to isolated off-grid and remote areas. Amazingly enough, Kenya (Africa) has the world’s highest household solar ownership pace with around 30,000 small solar systems sold per year.

 

Renewable water energy is also utilized for generating electricity through hydroelectric power generation system where huge mass of water kept in large dams or natural reservoirs are allowed to cascade down on hydro-turbines from a considerable height. The generated electricity is transmitted to national grids and then allowed to be distributed freely to consumers. 

 

Renewable geothermal energy is utilized for generating current too but the initial expenses for starting one is fairly expensive. It is primarily obtained by tapping the heat of the mother earth by going deep down into the earth’s depth (up to several kilometers). However, the operating costs involved are rather low. 

 

As for use of renewable energy from biomass, solid biomass is generally used directly as a combustible fuel, creating 10-20 MJ/kg heat. Dairy farmers often used cow dung to produce biogas that is used for heating and lighting of farms and buildings.

 

Many homes in the US are now opting for wind power – in fact, this trend is spreading rapidly. Being a safe and clean energy this certainly looks like the future. You can also install a cheap wind power system and save on your power bills apart from contributing to clean up the environment. All you need to know is where to set it up in your home and how to do it, how to wire the system, where to get the parts from cheaply and also the safety precautions.



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