Renewable energy refers to the practically limitless amounts of energy we can collect from the planet’s natural resources: solar, water, air, organic matter, and the Earth itself. While fossil fuels are finite and send greenhouse gases into the environment, renewable energy requires no “fuel” in the traditional sense and doesn’t generate harmful emissions.
Renewable energy takes many forms, but it’s not the same as clean energy — nor is all renewable energy considered green. It’s important to learn about the intricacies and environmental differences between large- and small-scale energy generation to understand the ultimate takeaway: Renewable energy is the future!
Therefore, instead of you having to explore the internet like an investigative reporter, we’ve done all the work for you. We’ve assembled content containing everything you need to know about renewable energy, the different sources of energy, and its benefits.
Your search is finally over, friends. Discovery awaits!
Renewable Energy 101: The Basics
While some claim there are seven different kinds of renewable energy. Really, five types of renewable energy exist: solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, and geothermal. We provide a working definition of renewable energy and expand upon the many ways we’ve harnessed it to produce electricity.
We briefly mentioned it above, but no matter what people say, renewable energy is not the same as clean energy — even though we strongly believe they should mean the same. Learn what’s different about the two terms and why we’re so fervent in our opinion of this hotly contested debate.
Now that you’re well-versed in the various ways we harness the Earth’s natural energy, you’re probably wondering why this all matters. Though there are numerous benefits of choosing renewable energy over fossil fuels, we share the top five benefits from our perspective as a solar power company, ranging from health, economic, and environmental factors.
All green energy is renewable, but not all renewable energy is green. See what we mean when we say this can get confusing? Green power is the most environmentally friendly source of electricity generation. Where experts draw a line in the sand is with large-scale hydropower and the burning of solid waste. While renewable, both lack the environmental benefits of the rest, which we explain in this article.
The United States may operate on the dollar system, but the renewable energy industry employs the REC system. Short for renewable energy certificates or credits, RECs are notes of authenticity that ensure customers actually pay for what they want: clean, renewable power. All renewable energy in the U.S. has a REC tied to it, even ours at Chariot Energy.
People have got a lot to say about renewable energy, and we’ve heard it all. There are some bogus claims out there, from “renewable energy isn’t actually good for the planet” to “it’s bad for birds” and beyond. Once we debunk those myths, people can finally appreciate renewable energy for what it is: A really good thing.
We’ve Got a Serious Obsession with Solar Energy
We are fascinated by our sun! It’s responsible for everything we’ve ever known, from the waterfalls to the grasslands to the birds and the trees. We take a scientific approach to explain what solar energy actually is and then apply it to modern electricity generation technology, including solar panels, reflective mirror plants, and heating devices for our home.
A solar farm is a vast swath of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels that absorb energy from the sun and convert it into an electric current, which we can eventually use in our homes and businesses. They are often located in arid, sunny areas of the world where solar energy generators can achieve peak energy efficiency. As an owner of a solar farm ourselves, we think we’ve got this topic covered. 😎
We will always champion solar power, but just like any other energy source out there, we admit solar has its fair share of benefits and drawbacks. While solar does have some limitations, such as the inability to generate power at night, we want to show you that the pros truly outweigh the cons.
Humans have reaped the benefits of solar for eons. The concept of solar energy is nothing new, but the methods we use to capture its energy has improved dramatically in the last century, in part due to Albert Einstein himself. We cover thousands of years of solar information in a 10-minute read.
While you might know your way around solar energy at this point in the page, our list of 27 fun and interesting facts about this energy source might surprise you. Take a look!
Even though solar and wind energy share the same energy source, they’re harnessed in completely different ways. Wind takes the form of kinetic energy, so wind turbines are ideal for capturing its movement. In contrast, solar energy systems such as PV panels capture the sun’s electromagnetic energy by absorbing its energy and creating a current.
For even more resources on green energy and ways to save money on your electricity bill, visit our Chariot University page to learn more →