Renewable energy is produced cleanly from natural sources. It
will not disappear like fossil fuels (oil, coal, natural gas) and is
There are negative qualities to many of these technologies. As
we see it, the desirable aspects far overcome the negative qualities.
We presently have investments in these areas.
The development of new wind power generation has become widespread and is often competitive with conventional power plants. (Photo courtesy of Vestas Wind Systems A/S)
The cost of photovoltaic (PV) solar has declined significantly, and efficiency has improved. Arrays are seen on residential rooftops and commercial establishments. Solar PV is competitive with conventional electric power in many geographic areas.
Large concentrated solar thermal (CST) power plants use mirrors to concentrate sunlight to heat a liquid. The heated liquid is used for steam generation which powers electric generators. These facilities are operating and/or being developed in the U.S., Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia. While the technology is presently more expensive than PV solar, it has the advantage of enabling energy storage in molten salts, for use when the sun goes down.
Electricity is being generated using the motion of waves, tidal current, and temperature differential. Ocean energy is not limited to the time of day or overcast skies. The timing of currents and waves are understood and reliable. The process is expensive and not yet widespread.
Hydropower is clean but limited by geography. It is already a significant source of renewable electricity. Pumped hydro is used for energy storage. Low-impact and "run-of-the-river" hydropower is being developed in North America and Europe.
Geothermal Energy is produced by heat from sources below the Earth's surface. Steam created by these underground heat sources is used to spin turbines which generate electricity.
Smaller geothermal systems, making use of underground pipes, are used to produce heat for commercial establishments and homes.
This is a broad category encompassing a
variety of fuels produced from biological sources.
emitted from landfills, breweries, and waste water, is used as fuel for conventional gas fired electric generators and fuel cell powered electric generation. It is more environmentally beneficial to collect and burn this gas or use it in a fuel cell than to release it into the atmosphere.
|Ethanol is used as a supplement or an additive to gasoline. It is produced from agricultural products, such as corn, wheat, fruit, wine, and various kinds of cellulose materials including stalks and wood chips. Second generation technology makes use of a variety of crops to produce ethanol.
be procued from crops such as rapeseed and soybeans, and from animal fats or wasted vegetable cooking oil. Bio-diesel is cleaner than petroleum-based diesel fuel.