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In general

Energy Effciency/savings

Wave/tidal energy

Geothermal energy

Solar Thermal Energy

Photovoltaics

Biofuel

Biomass

Hydro-Power

Wind Energy

Renewable energy is derived from sources that are naturally replenished. Sources of renewable energy include wind energy, the Sun or solar energy, the flow of rivers or hydropower, the Earth’s internal heat or geothermal energy, waves, tides and other forms of ocean energy, and forests and other sources of biomass. [1] [2]

The potential of renewable energy sources is enormous, because, in principle, their annual replenishment rate surpasses many times over the world’s annual energy consumption. Moreover, renewable energy sources can provide energy based on locally available resources. [3]

Renewable energies have an established position as an essential contributor to the global energy supply. In 2004 about 13 % of global primary energy supply was covered with renewable energy supplies with 10.6 % coming from combustible renewables such as wood, 2.2 % from hydropower, 0.4 % from geothermal and about 0.1 % from wind and solar combined. [4]

A number of scenario studies have investigated the potential contribution of renewables to global energy production. In the next 50 years their contribution could grow to more than 50 %, making renewable energy the principal source of energy in future [5]. Some forms of renewables are already growing at phenomenal rates. During the past three decades geothermal energy has had an annual average growth rate of 8 %, solar energy 28 % and wind power a whopping 48 %. [6]

The growth in renewable energies is driven by both ecological and economic factors. Ecological factors include the climate change and other environmental concerns. Around 80 % of global primary energy supply is provided by fossil fuels – the use of which contributes to climate change, causes adverse health and environmental effects and consumes limited natural resources. Renewables help alleviate all these problems. [7]

Economic factors also include the declining costs of renewables and uncertainties about the future prices and remaining supplies of fossil energy resources. In short, prices of renewable energy and the economic, social and environmental costs of using fossil fuels are heading in opposite directions.

Renewable energy is a sustainable, environmentally benign and local solution to our energy needs. You can be a part of that solution.

 

Footnotes

[1] “Renewable” in The American Heritage Science Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005.

[2] "Renewable Energy" in Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009.

[3] Kammen, D.: “Renewable Energy, Taxonomic Overview” in Encyclopedia of Energy. Elsevier, 2004.

[4] IEA: Renewables in Global Energy Supply. IEA/OECD, 2007.

[5] Kammen, D.: “Renewable Energy, Taxonomic Overview” in Encyclopedia of Energy. Elsevier, 2004.

[6] IEA: Renewables in Global Energy Supply. IEA/OECD, 2007.

[7] IEA: Key World Energy Statistics. IEA/OECD, 2008.

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