Energy is essential to perform any function. Just as our body needs food to move, any human activity needs an energy flow to be carried out. Today, we have inherited an energy system that comes from the industrial revolution, at the base of which are fossil fuels and, later, nuclear energy. However, these energies will become increasingly scarce and, on the other hand, they have a great impact on the environment.
Renewable energy was born as an inexhaustible alternative to these energies that may disappear but this does not mean that they have to be clean energies. Do renewable energies pollute the environment ? What are renewable energies? How does each one pollute? In the following AgroCorrn article we will explain it to you.
- What are renewable energies
- Renewable energies: examples
- Are renewable energies clean or polluting?
What are renewable energies
Renewable energy is understood to be those that have a natural origin whose source is hypothetically inexhaustible, either because they regenerate by themselves or because their quantities are unlimited, that is, as they are used, their resources do not run out. Some clear examples of these unlimited natural sources are the sun or the wind.
Sometimes there is also talk of alternative energy, however, it does not refer to the same thing. Alternative energies are those that can serve as a replacement for traditional energy sources, in this case renewable energies are, but that does not mean that all alternative energies are renewable.
Here we explain what are the renewable energy sources :
- Tidal energy , from the tides.
- Geothermal energy , from the heat of the earth.
- Hydraulic energy , from reservoirs.
- Wind energy , from the wind.
- Solar energy , from the Sun.
- Biomass energy , from vegetation.
Renewable energies: examples
This energy can be obtained from with the same procedure but in two different ways. On the one hand, the energy left by the movement of large bodies of water when the tides rise and fall can be collected, but the force of the waves on the sea surface as a consequence of wind action can also be harnessed.
Geothermal energy is that which we can obtain from taking advantage of the heat that is given off from the interior of the Earth. For this, different sources can be used, such as hot springs and their vapors or magma. However, today the resources are not yet available at a technological level to be able to exploit it industrially. Still, it can be used as a home heater or to generate electricity.
As its name indicates, this energy is produced by water, but unlike tidal energy, hydraulic energy is produced by water that accumulates in swamps or reservoirs. How is this energy produced? Easy, when the water falls to a lower level it creates an energy that in the hydroelectric plant is converted into electricity.
In this type of energy, the natural source is the wind, which is used by windmills, technically known as wind turbines. Did you know that you can make homemade windmills ?
Solar energy is that which comes to us from the Sun through electromagnetic radiation, it can already be in the form of heat, light or ultraviolet rays that have been created in the star after a process of nuclear fusion. Within solar energy we can distinguish between:
- Photothermic solar energy : they convert that energy into heat and use it to heat buildings, water or any other product.
- Photovoltaic solar energy : they convert solar energy into electricity.
We speak of biomass to that energy that is obtained by means of organic materials of animal or vegetable origin, for example organic waste after combustion or transformation into oil, alcohol or methanol.
Are renewable energies clean or polluting?
Before answering if renewable energies are polluting, it must be made clear that any energy source causes an impact on the environment. Of course, there are some that do it more than others, for example, non-renewable ones, in their irrational and disproportionate use, cause damage to nature, ecosystems and the planet in general. In this sense, renewable sources are a good substitute because their impact is less, but they can still be polluting. Next we will talk about how renewable energies pollute the environment :
- The geothermal energy can become very dangerous in the event that gases are flushed into the surface and toxic metals.
- Wind power turbines create visual pollution in normally natural landscapes. At the same time they can become traps for thousands of birds that die on their blades.
- Within hydraulic energy , mini-hydro is the one that produces a minor impact, however, large water dams create great losses in the biodiversity of the area, they generate methane gas if the plant matter is not removed, they can be the cause of pandemics , can be located in areas of natural or landscape value, make river beds more saline.
- The main problem with tidal energy is the high costs of its installation, which seldom make it viable. On the other hand, they have a significant visual impact on coastal landscapes, that is, visual pollution.
- The biomass produced environmental pollution, since their combustion generates nitrogen dioxide and other pollutants. In addition, if land is cultivated for its development, it is no longer used for other more productive types of crops.
- Surely, solar energy is the least polluting in every way, however, the time it takes to be amortized is very long.
If you want to read more articles similar to Do renewable energies pollute the environment? , we recommend that you enter our category of Renewable Energies .