Popular Renewable Energy Sources
Biomass, solar power, hydroelectricity, and wind power are some of the terms we are most used to hearing where renewable energy is concerned in 2018, and as a nation, the UK is looking at more and more ways to increase our renewable energy sources.
We have been sourcing renewable energy for thousands of years from the land, from the sea, from biodegradables such as wood and food, from the wind, from water and from other outlets, but until recently (the last 40 years) these renewable energies were never harnessed to their full potential, and it took a crisis coal miners strike in the 1970s to bring energy to the forefront of the UK’s mind.
We delve a little deeper into what renewable energies there are in use in the UK and which renewable energy is at the top of the ladder when it comes to producing the most. We also look across the world to see which renewable energy each country is currently producing the most of.
Biomass - what is it?
Biomass is a term for turning certain renewable products into energy by burning them. Biomass renewable products include all types of wood, certain crops, alcohol fuels, landfill gas, and other renewables such as food waste or sewage.
Solar Power - what is it?
Solar power is a way of converting sunshine or sunlight into electricity for the home or for business, the outcome being an excellent source of renewable energy.
Hydroelectricity - what is it?
Hydroelectricity or Hydropower as it’s also known as a way of using water to produce electricity. A reservoir will store water, then as the water flows from the reservoir it is guided through a turbine which spins and in turn switches on a generator producing renewable electricity.
Wind Power - what is it?
Wind power is where a wind turbine (on land or at sea) will catch the wind as it passes by and turn it into renewable electrical energy and mechanical power.
IRENA is The International Renewable Energy Agency and center of excellence, which works to support 159 member countries who are currently transferring between using standard energies and sustainable renewable energies. The company focuses on bioenergy (biomass), geothermal (from the earth), hydropower, ocean power (wave energy), solar power and wind energy, and currently, in 2018, the *UK’s biggest renewable energy sources come from both biomass and wind power.
The British government has been working on increasing the UK’s share of renewable energy since 2007, and it looks like there is still a short distance to go before the 2020 targets for renewable energy are reached.
There were originally just under 30 European Union countries who joined the renewable energy target of 20% cumulatively, with the UK being quite low on the initial start with a share of just 1.1%, therefore agreeing to work towards an increase to 15% by 2020. As it stands there are 11 countries which have already surpassed their targets, unfortunately, the UK isn’t one of them. Sweden, on the other hand, is a cut above the rest and has proved to be proficient at renewing energy, with their energy share reaching a staggering 49%.