Renewable energies are those that are obtained from inexhaustible natural sources, such as the sun, the sea or the wind. These can be used over time without worrying about running out. In the case of clean energies, we find ourselves before a different concept that, in this case, has to do with energies that during their production do not pollute or pollute less compared to others. Both clean energy and renewable energy are essential to take care of the planet and the environment.
What are clean or renewable energies?
In this article we are going to talk to you about clean and renewable energies. We explain what they are with examples of the most popular clean and renewable energies, so that there are no doubts about it. Keep reading this article for more information.
Is clean and renewable energy the same?
The truth is that noalthough they are often confused since coincide with each other. Clean energies are those that do not generate pollution for their production and renewable energies are those that do not run out and those that come from natural sources. We can find renewable energies that come from inexhaustible resources and that are clean, however, we can also find clean energies that do not come from renewable sources —such as natural gas, which pollutes very little—. Although the difference is minimal, it is important to make it clear.
What are clean and renewable energies?
As we indicated above, renewable energy sources tend to be clean energy in most cases. These are the most popular that we can find today.
Solar energy is energy obtained from the sun. This energy can be used in different ways to produce electricity —photovoltaic energy— and to produce heat —thermal energy—. For its use, what are known as solar panels are used, which vary depending on their function. As a noteworthy fact, it is important to know that photovoltaic energy is today the produces the cheapest electricityas recognized by the International Energy Agency in its annual report World Energy Outlook 2020. In addition, to date it is the energy that has the most expectations for the future in terms of the total supply of electrical energy on the planet. One of the advantages of solar energy is that it can be used for personal use by any user who carries out a photovoltaic or thermal solar installation in their home —unlike what happens with other renewable energy sources—.
Tidal energy is that which obtained directly from the tides. To do this, an alternator is used that is used as a system to generate electricity, transforming one energy into the other. This energy takes advantage of the rise and fall of sea water produced by the gravitational action of the sun and the moon. When we talk about examples of clean and renewable energies for the generation of electricity, in the case of tidal energy, we can find three types. These are the ones they use tidal current generator —known as Tidal Stream Generators, TGS, and the most popular today—and that take advantage of the kinetic energy of turbines similar to wind blades. Also the tidal damswhich take advantage of the potential caused by the change of tides due to their different heights and the dynamic tidal energy. The latter has not yet been put into practice, although it is intended to take advantage of both kinetic and potential energy together in the near future.
The eolic energy is the one obtained from the wind. To do this, it takes advantage of the kinetic energy of the air masses that convert the movement of the wind turbine blades into electrical energy. Wind turbines are powered by wind-driven turbines and are the successors of windmills. The improvement in this type of technology to date has meant that in some wind farms the electricity produced is as cheap as coal or atomic power plants.
This kind of energy obtained from rivers and freshwater streams. With this type of renewable energy sources it is possible to generate electricity. To do this, use is made of mills or hydraulic dams that take advantage of the movement of water through turbines. It is a renewable energy source that accounts for 7% of the world’s primary energy consumption. Hydropower is a storable renewable resourceso it is very useful to meet demands immediately.
Geothermal energy is a type of renewable energy that take advantage of the heat contained within the Earth. Some examples of clean and renewable geothermal energies are volcanoes, geysers and hot springs. This energy is harnessed from the heat that is transmitted to hot rock bodies or through conduction and convection from the interaction of groundwater and rocks, among others.
Biomass energy and biogas
this energy is extracted from organic matter. Biogas is an energy composed of carbon dioxide and methane generated by the biodegradation of biomass, which is obtained from organic matter in an environment devoid of oxygen. Biomass energy can be obtained by taking advantage of forest residues, as well as agricultural and domestic waste to transform them into fuel.
Energy is obtained in this case from the waves. This allows capturing the energy of the movement of the waves produced by the wind to generate electricity, but also to desalinate water or to pump it. The machine used to exploit wave energy is known as a wave energy converter.
Bioethanol is an organic fuel used for the automotive industry. This is obtained by fermentation of vegetable products.
Biodiesel is another of the organic fuels that can be used for the automotive industry. This is obtained from vegetable oils.