What is Renewable Energy? Definition, Sources, Example, Pros and Cons

Renewable Energy


Renewable Energy sources are the key to combating Climate change, Global Warming, and Ozone Layer Depletion. Renewable energy is on the rise around the world and these energy sources are the future of our planet earth. In today’s article, we will focus on renewable energy, its uses, pros, and cons, etc.

Renewable Energy

So what is Renewable Energy?

Renewable energy is the energy that will always be available for utilization. These energy sources will never decrease upon use because they are endless.  The most common sources of renewable energy are solar energy, wind energy, hydro energy, geothermal energy, and biomass. Renewable energy is also termed green energy, clean energy, or alternate energy; because they provide us an alternate source of energy to the most commonly used non-sustainable sources such as coal, and natural gas.

There are three basic qualities of renewable energy or clean energy:

⦁ Clean Energy sources are unlimited, which means they will never deplete.

⦁ Green energy does not pollute land, water, or air directly.

⦁ Alternate energy sources are carbon neutral.

We as human beings consume energy to power our houses, transportation, factories, etc. As the population on earth is growing we need more and more energy. There are two main sources of energy, non-renewable energy sources, and renewable energy sources. Non-Renewable energy sources like coal, petrol, diesel, and fossil fuels will get depleted in the future and they will never replenish again. On the other hand, clean energy sources will be always available because their replenishment rate is faster than their consumption rate. Green energy sources are the fastest-growing sources of energy in the world but it is a bitter truth that 80% of fuels used today are from non-renewable energy sources.

Renewable Energy

Sources of Renewable Energy

The most used sources of green energy are as follows-

Biomass energy
  • Biomass Energy: Biomass energy is converting solid fuel made from plant materials into electricity. Although biomass involves burning organic materials to produce electricity. But thanks to technology, today’s biomass energy generation is a much cleaner, more energy-efficient process. By converting domestic waste into solid, liquid, and gas fuel, biomass gives power at a much lower price and less cost to nature.
Geo thermal energy
Geothermal Power Plant
  • Geothermal: “Geo” means earth and “therm” means heat in the Greek language, so geothermal energy uses the natural heat below the earth’s surface to produce energy. In the geothermal process, electricity is generated by harnessing the heat situated below the earth. Countries like the USA, Indonesia, Turkey, Philippines, and Iceland are the biggest geothermal energy-producing countries in the world because geothermal heat is much more freely available in these countries like Iceland and has a bright future.
Hydro power
  • Hydro Energy: Hydro means water and water bodies constitute 70% of the Earth’s surface. So water is the largest source of renewable energy. Hydropower uses the natural flow of moving water to yield electricity. Additionally, water is 800 times denser than air even a slow-flowing stream of water can give considerable amounts of energy. To harness electrical energy from hydro energy large reservoirs often known as dams are built and used in a controlled way to drive a turbine thus producing electricity. This source is more reliable than the sun and the winds because of its availability. Hydro energy is used in 150 countries for producing electricity.
Solar energy
  • Solar Energy: Most helpful, most widely spread, and most easily available form of green energy is solar energy. As solar energy is a sustainable and completely inexhaustible source of clean energy. One hour of rays coming to the earth’s surface is enough for the planet’s whole year’s energy requirement. Additionally, scientists are coming up with new technologies such as Solar Heating, Bio-Hybrid Solar cells, Cadmium Telluride Solar cells, Artificial Photosynthesis, etc. With the help of the new technologies, we can use solar energy to cook food, boil water, for heating purposes, lightning purposes, and much more. Day by day solar energy is becoming cheaper and more common. The technology of solar energy is improving because of its widespread use.
Tidal Energy
Tidal Energy Plant
  • Tidal Energy: Another green source of energy is the energy of tides. This energy is harnessed when tidal currents have sufficient energy to move turbine generators. But tidal energy because it depends on the flow of tides, which is not constant, therefore it is not widely used as solar power or wind energy but still, it has potential for future electricity generation.
Wind energy
  • Wind Energy: Wind Energy is one of the most popular and widely used sources of green energy. Wind power is derived from harnessing the wind by using windmills or wind turbines to generate electricity. If the situation is in favor of winds it can run a large turbine which is enough for a household to meet its basic energy needs.

Uses of Renewable Energy

As the worldwide demand for electricity is increasing, it is important to identify and secure sustainable energy resources and in addition how to use them. Due to their clean nature, renewable sources of energy are becoming effective on domestic and commercial grounds. Here we are discussing the uses of renewable energy.

⦁ All the green energy sources are used to generate electrical energy.

⦁ solar energy is getting very popular in recent years. Solar energy is used to heat buildings, and boil water with solar boilers. Most importantly solar power is used for electricity generation and lighting purposes in homes and streets. Farmers are replacing pollution-causing diesel-powered pumps with solar pumps to draw groundwater out for irrigation. Additionally, farmers are also taking care of their crops during cold periods with the help of solar greenhouses. These houses harness the sun’s rays and convert them into heat energy to keep crops warm during the excess cold weather.

⦁ Biodiesel and ethanol are sources of biomass energy, Bio-diesel, and ethanol-based fuel is used in the vehicle for transportation. Biomass fuel is also used at the domestic level in gas stoves

⦁ Geothermal energy is used for many purposes like heating and cooling purposes. Geothermal energy is also used for cooking, food dehydration, and milk pasteurization.

⦁ Wind energy is used to produce electricity for example with the help of wind farms hundreds of houses are able to get electricity for their domestic use. Wind energy is used as a new innovative technology in combination with solar energy to give electricity to consumers during the day and night times. Wind-powered pumps are used to pump water in fields and farms. Additionally, wind power is helpful in sports like wind and kite surfing, sailing purposes, etc.

Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages and Disadvantages of Renewable Energy:

Advantages and Benefits

After the change in climatic behavior patterns, the world has changed its attitude towards green sources of energy due to their various benefits to the environment. Clean energy sources have no direct impact on climate change because it creates no direct greenhouse gas emissions also they are carbon neutral

  • Green energy sources are in infinite supply, it means they are reliable and will never get run out in the future even if the whole planet uses these abundant resources.
  • As clean energy sources do not pollute the air and water, thus switching from non-renewable energy to green energy helps to reduce health hazard concerns.
  • Increasing demand for green energy has created a number of jobs opportunities as a result employment opportunities in the clean energy sector are increasing very fast. Demand and use of renewable energy are rising because they are accessible and free to use.
  • Wind and solar energy technologies can play a key role in strengthening our energy system’s effectiveness.
  • Switching to green energy helps to cut the power bills and reduce the cost of living.

Disadvantages of Renewable Energy

  • High Storage Cost– The storage cost of green energy is very high because we need a battery bank to store the energy from renewable sources or else we will lose it.
  • Too Much Space needed– A huge amount of land is required to install green energy plants like solar farms or wind energy farms.
  • Efficiency Level is Still Low– The technology of harnessing renewable energy is still in its adolescence, therefore the efficiency level in green energy is very low.
  • Expensive Capital Cost– Installing a renewable energy-generating plant requires significant investment, land, and power distribution infrastructure, which is very expensive.
  • Unreliability– In green energy generation, dependency is on natural resources like Solar radiation, wind speed, etc, therefore power and electricity generation is very unpredictable when the weather condition is unfavorable


So keeping all the above-mentioned points in mind, we came to the conclusion that renewable energy is the future of our energy requirements. Our researchers will surely overcome the limitations and challenges of renewable energy in the future. But we should remember that using green energy for our energy requirements is the best way to overcome serious environmental issues like global warming, ozone layer depletion, and high carbon emission. Hope you like our article, please help us in making this world a cleaner world.

  • To visit the official website of the Indian Ministry of Power- Click Here
  • To visit the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy- Click Here

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