Renewable energy is a blanket term for natural energy sources that are virtually inexhaustible. There are several forms of renewable energy that can be harnessed as sources of power — solar energy, wind energy, biomass, hydropower, hydrogen fuel, geothermal energy and ocean/tidal energy. Solar energy is channeled using photovoltaic cells. Wind, hydro and geothermal energy are converted into electricity through turbines specific to each type of energy. Hydrogen fuel and biofuels are directly supplied into a fuel cell or combustion engine.
Renewable energy has numerous benefits over nonrenewable sources such as fossil fuels. All renewable energy is clean energy, and thus does not harm life, pollute water or air or contribute to climate change. Being a natural extension of the planet, renewable energy will never be depleted. And as renewable energy is not supplied by power or oil companies, the only expenses one incurs by using it are the installation costs of turbines/cells.
Since renewable energy can be harnessed anywhere, utilizing it would decrease our dependence on foreign oil. Moreover, developing the renewable energy industry in the US has the potential to create many jobs and stimulate the economy. Renewable energy awareness, usage and technological advancements are increasing with time. (Photo: Shutterstock)