Renewable Energy Sources – What are they and how are they converted?

Welcome to our first blog of 2020, in this post we wanted to explore some of the different types of renewable energy sources out there and how they’re converted to the everyday energy we use.

We tend to only think of electricity being generated through oil, coal and gas but renewables are fast outpacing traditional sources. So, let’s look at how renewables are paving the way for cleaner, greener energy.

According to new research, renewable sources provided more electricity to homes and businesses than fossil fuels for the first time last quarter, it is the first time that electricity generated from windfarms, renewable biomass plants and solar panels from the UK have surpassed fossil fuels since the first plant opened in 1882. It is testament to the effort that is being put into reducing our carbon footprint and making more use of natural resources.

So let’s take a look into some of the forms of renewable sources.

Wind Power

Wind turbines capture the natural wind in our environment, this in turn is then converted into mechanical energy. Wind farms are strategically placed in areas where it can generate the most energy. The turbines convert air motion into electricity, the blades on the turbine are connected to a electro magnetic generator and electricity is generated when the wind causes the blades to spin. These blades are connected to an electro-magnetic generator that produces the electricity we use.

The energy produced from wind is clean and has no direct carbon emissions and plants can run on low operational and maintenance costs.

Solar Power

Solar energy is the most plentiful source in the world, solar technology converts the sun’s heat or light into a form of energy. It is a renewable resource that doesn’t emit any greenhouse gases in its generation process and its popularity has grown over the years with many businesses and homes adopting their surroundings to accommodate the technology that allows them to produce cleaner energy. The panels work by absorbing the sun’s heat and light with photovoltaic cells which generate direct current (DC) energy, it is then converted to usable alternating current (AC) energy which in turn through an electrical panel is then distributed through our homes and businesses.

Water Power

About 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water and the energy harnessed from moving water is to create electricity. The two most common water technologies Hydropower and Tidal Power

Energy produced from water is considered a renewable source as it uses the Earth’s water cycle and gravitational pull to generate electricity. A Hydroelectric power plant would use a dam to store water in reservoir. The water would then be released, flow through to the spinning turbine activating the generator to produce electricity.

Energy derived from this source does not emit greenhouse gases but is scarcity and conservation can be a challenge that the energy industry faces.

These three sources of renewable energy are gaining more popularity and as we continue to use them more, we encourage others to follow and reduce their carbon footprint too.

Here at UKEM, we embrace greener and cleaner energy sources and champion their use to our clients who can see not only see a positive environmental impact but also a financial one. Get in touch with one of our experts to find out how we can help you achieve this.