It has become a common sight to view solar water heaters on people’s terraces. After all, they do not have to pay any fees to the sun for using its energy! However, they would not be able to escape so easily if they were utilizing gas or electric power instead!
In other words, they are taking recourse to renewable energy. Now, the sun is just one example of a source of renewable energy. There are several different sources too.
As the name suggests, renewable energy refers to the power that we can generate repeatedly. This is because Mother Nature constantly replenishes whatever we use up for our day-to-day activities.
The sources of such power include sunlight, geothermal (geo = earth, thermal = heat) heat, rain/water (hydroelectricity), tides (tidal energy), different types of biomass, biodiesel fuel and the wind (windmills). Renewable energy may/may not affect the environment in a significant way.
Biomass points towards organic matter (wood, alcohol fuels (derived from corn), manufacturing/municipal waste, landfill gas, etc.).
Biodiesel refers to oils obtained from vegetable wastes, microalgae, animal fats, etc.
Admittedly, other sources of energy have to take the place of fossil fuels (oil, coal, etc.), which humankind has been using for over 150 years. These fuels have been contributing to the enhancement of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
As these gases trap heat, global temperatures are rising. In turn, the seas/oceans are rising, and weather fluctuations are becoming extreme, wildlife populations are shifting their habitats, etc. Therefore, there is an urgency to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases via the utilization of clean and green energy resources.
It helps that reduction of carbon emissions requires the involvement of diverse stakeholders from both the private and the public arenas. As a result, developed and developing countries, specifically, are taking steps to expand access to renewable sources of energy and lower energy bills.
They are even striving to make electric grids more resilient. Such actions require the involvement of environmentalists and ecologists, engineers, project managers, technicians, planners, etc. Thus, various sections of society have to participate in this renewable energy renaissance. In turn, more significant job opportunities come into play across the globe.
IPCC refers to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The organization’s scientists present a comprehensive annual report on climate change and its impact on Earth. The 2018 report was alarming, as it outlined how the energy sector was majorly responsible for global warming. The report suggested that the world looks at enhancing energy efficiency via the usage of renewables.
Similarly, the Group of Twenty (G20) nations requested IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) to provide a report in 2019. The organization agreed with IPCC that renewable energy would serve to be the most affordable, reliable, and safe way to reduce massive amounts of carbon emissions.
By using in combination with measures to enhance energy efficiency and resilient electrification. It would be possible to achieve 90% decarbonization. IRENA and the G20 presidencies have even been working on a unique toolkit, since 2015. It is for the effective deployment of renewable energy.
There are several cost-effective ways to improve the production of energy for performing household activities. One, as mentioned earlier, is the switch over to solar-powered water heaters, from sources using gas/electricity for heating water. The heated water gushes out of showerheads/faucets, which are connected to pipelines.
It is possible to convert the sun’s vast energy into electricity for use in the house. The mere mounting of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on the roof in an
appropriate manner, suffices to do the trick. If the roof is not suitable, the yard should do.
An alternative for PV solar panels is solar shingles. They have another complicated name – building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV)! They take the place of the shingles that decorate the roof. As a result, they display a thin, sleek, and flat appearance.
It is great for ensuring that food is always hot and edible! This replacement for the electric oven is portable and only requires a sunny place to get to work.
The traditional air conditioner (AC) consumes plenty of electricity, leading to massive electricity bills. The solar AC works similarly to the solar water heater.
However, it uses this hot water in an AC for cooling the room/house. It is also possible to configure this system to perform other functions, such as producing hot water or heating the home.