You don’t have to be a tree-hugging hippie to know renewable energy is kind of a big deal these days. As we gradually become less reliant on fossil fuels, it’s renewable energy’s time to shine.
But are renewables really the answer to all our power supply problems? From solar panels to wind turbines, much of the technology associated with renewable energy is still largely misunderstood.
If you’re not sure what all the fuss is about, we’ve got the lowdown on renewable energy.
what is renewable energy?
Renewable energy is any form of energy generated by a boundless natural resource. The sun, the wind and the ocean all produce renewable energy. Unlike fossil fuels such as coal and oil (which will run out eventually – sorry to all the mining moguls out there), renewable sources of energy are supposed to last forever, or at least until the sun explodes or a comet comes along and blows up the earth. But you get the idea.
Want your own slice of the renewable energy pie?
These are some of the most widely available sources of renewable energy:
- Solar power – Using heat from the sun, solar power works by converting sunlight into electricity
- Hydropower – Hydropower harnesses the force of moving water to generate renewable energy
- Geothermal power – Stored deep underground, geothermal energy is generated by the earth’s natural heat
- Ocean power – Tidal power is the ocean’s main source of renewable energy
- Wind power – Using wind turbines, wind power can generate huge amounts of energy on gusty days
common myths about renewable energy
When it comes to renewable energy, don't believe everything you read on the internet. If you're trying to separate fact from fiction, these are some of the most common mistruths out there.
Renewable energy is always more expensive
Renewable sources of power can cost more in some cases, but it depends on the type of energy you’re using and the amount of power you need to generate. Some forms of renewable energy can actually save you money.
If your power bill is getting out of hand, installing solar panels in your home can reduce your electricity costs by hundreds of dollars. Learn how an amaysim solar energy plan can help you make the most of these savings.
Renewable energy can’t supply power 24/7
This myth may be fuelled by the idea that solar power stops working once the sun goes down. But solar power (along with other forms of renewable energy) can be stored in battery form, making round-the-clock renewable power perfectly feasible.
Renewable energy could replace all fossil fuels
It may have come a long way in the last few years, but renewable energy isn’t quite ready to do it alone yet. Most countries still rely on fossil fuels to meet energy demands.
Wind turbines kill birds
There’s an element of truth to this myth, but the numbers are largely overstated. While it’s not unheard of for birds to be killed by wind turbines, these structures have had a negligible impact on wildlife populations according to scientific research.
renewable energy leaders
Want to know who’s leading the pack in renewable energy technology? Spoiler alert: it’s not Australia. Aussies may be starting to get onboard with renewable energy, but we’re still stuck in the dark ages compared to some countries. These are just some of the best examples of renewable energy being put to innovative use from around the world.
The PS10 Solar Tower, Spain
Located at Sanlucar la Mayor near Seville, the PS10 is the world’s first commercial solar tower. It was constructed by a Spanish company called Solucar, and it can generate enough power for about 6,000 homes.
The London Array, England
Rising out of the ocean 12km off the coast of Kent, the London Array is the largest offshore wind farm in Europe. It generates enough energy to power 500,000 homes.
The Nesjavellir Geothermal Power, Iceland
Leave it to Iceland to harness the power of an active volcano. Built to capture geothermal heat generated by lava, the Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station (NGPS) is situated near the Thingvellir and the Hengill Volcano.
Solar Powered Train Tunnel, Belgium
Covering an area of 2 miles, Europe’s first ever solar-powered train tunnel can be found in Belgium. The structure consists of over 16,000 solar panels and is set to decrease annual CO2 emissions by about 2,400 tons.
Eager to join the renewable energy revolution? Learn more about renewable energy and how it can power your home by checking out amaysim’s energy plans today.