Library Index » Science Encyclopedia » Renewable Energy - Renewable Energy Defined, A Historical Perspective, Domestic Renewable Energy Usage, Biomass Energy, Hydropower

Renewable Energy - Renewable Energy Defined

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Imagine energy sources that use no oil, produce no pollution, cannot be affected by political events and cartels, create no radioactive waste, and yet are economical. Although it sounds impossible, some experts claim that technological advances could make wide use of renewable energy sources possible within a few decades. Renewable energy is energy that is naturally regenerated and is, therefore, virtually unlimited. Sources include the sun (solar), wind, water (hydropower), vegetation (biomass), and the heat of the earth (geothermal).

Solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, and geothermal power are all renewable, inexpensive, and clean sources of energy. Each of these alternative energy sources has advantages and disadvantages, and many observers hope that one or more of them may eventually provide a substantially better energy source than conventional fossil fuels. As the United States and the rest of the world continue to expand their energy needs—putting a strain on the environment and nonrenewable resources—alternative sources of energy continue to be explored.

Renewable Energy - A Historical Perspective [next]

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