You hear more and more about renewable energy. Not surprisingly, it is about the energies that can offer a solution to the high and growing energy demand that we have to face as a result of the demographic increase that the entire planet is facing. In fact, renewable energies are the only ones that are really going to be able to offer a solution to this demand, since they are those that are not exhausted, since they are “renewed” in a natural way. There are different types of these energies.
What are renewable energies
Renewable energies are those that, regardless of the use made of them, never run out . In fact, when speaking of renewable energies, one can also speak of inexhaustible energies, since their use does not reduce the amount of the source in question and, therefore, it never runs out.
In this way, when we talk about renewable energies, we are referring to some energies such as:
- Wind power
- Hydroelectric power
- Tidal energy, wave energy and so on.
On the contrary, when we speak of non-renewable energies, we are talking about energies that, with their use, end up running out. Two of the clearest examples of non-renewable energies would be coal and oil, which, apart from the pollution they generate, when consumed, cannot produce energy again from them, which is not the case with renewable energies. .
Indeed, the sun is a renewable energy , since it can be used as much as you want to obtain energy and it never runs out . Naturally, when we talk about renewable energies, including solar as well, and we say that they are renewable or inexhaustible sources of energy, we are saying it from a human perspective. That is to say, naturally, the sun’s energy will end up being depleted when the star in our solar system uses up all its hydrogen fuel, which is the original source from which its energy comes. However, on the human time scale, this energy is virtually inexhaustible , so it can be considered without a doubt as renewable energy.
It is important to bear in mind that, in addition to being a renewable energy, solar energy is also an especially abundant energy in all parts of the planet. Of course, in the latitudes closest to the equator, as well as the sunniest days, the solar energy that can be used to a greater extent. However, even in regions close to the polar circles, and also on cloudy days, energy can be obtained from solar radiation that reaches the surface of our planet, which makes it one of the potentially most usable energies of those that exist.
In addition, another factor that must be taken into account is that the sun’s energy reaches us in various ways, that is, through light and heat. This means that, when talking about solar energy, the correct thing will be to do it with photovoltaic energy and solar thermal energy, these are the different types of solar energy :
The type of solar energy that is obtained from sunlight is photovoltaic solar energy . It is the best known of all, since it is the energy used by solar panels, which are the main instruments that can absorb this energy and convert it into usable electrical energy for human needs. The advantage of this energy is that it can produce large amounts of electricity , the disadvantage is that it requires a large surface areafor it. However, with current technology, photovoltaic energy is especially useful when it comes to meeting the energy needs of small electrical installations, such as those that may have independent houses, industrial buildings that do not require much energy, or street or road furniture.
Solar thermal energy
In this case, we are also talking about solar energy, but of that obtained from the heat that reaches the Earth. In this case, these are installations larger than solar panels, being true power plants those that offer their supply from the energy they produce. In this case, what is done is to redirect the solar radiation through mirrors to the same point, which concentrates a lot of heat. This heat is transformed by a moving mechanical system that, in turn, is converted into usable electrical energy for human needs. This type of energy is intended to offer a broader energy supply, similar to that of the public supply system that reaches most of the buildings and spaces connected to the public electricity grid.