Renewableenergy is energy that is collected from renewableresources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale. They differ from the conventionalsources of energy like coal & petroleum on various parameters like cost,availability, effect on the climate. Most of the renewable energy like thesolar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy and tidal energy don’t have anysort of green house gas emission. These sources of energy, although a bit moreexpensive than the conventional sources of energy have the advantage of beingenvironment-friendly.
Another advantage renewable energy sourcescurrently hold over the conventional sources of energy is availability ofpotential locations. Renewable energy resourcesexist over wide geographical areas, in contrast to otherenergy sources, which are concentrated in a limited number of countries. For instance,solar energy that can be tapped from a desert is capable of generating manymegawatts of electricity.Renewable energy oftenprovides energy in four important areas: electricitygeneration, air and water heating/cooling, transportation,and rural (off-grid) energy services.
Based on REN21’s(Renewable Energy Policy Network forthe 21st Century) 2016 report, renewables contributed 19.2% to humans’ global energy consumption and23.7% to their generation of electricity in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Thisenergy consumption is divided as 8.
9% coming from traditional biomass,4.2% as heat energy (modern biomass, geothermal and solar heat), 3.9%hydro-electricity and 2.2% is electricity from wind, solar, geothermal,and biomassWorldwide investments inrenewable technologies amounted to more than US$286 billion in 2015, withcountries like China and the United States heavilyinvesting in wind, hydro, solar and biofuels.4 Globally,there are an estimated 7.
7 million jobs associated with the renewable energyindustries, with solarphotovoltaics being the largest renewable employer.5 Asof 2015 worldwide, more than half of all new electricity capacity installed wasrenewable.Rapid deployment ofrenewable energy and energyefficiency is resulting in significant energy security, climate change mitigation,and economic benefits. At the national level, atleast 30 nations around the world already have renewable energy contributingmore than 20 percent of energy supply.
National renewable energy markets areprojected to continue to grow strongly in the coming decade and beyond.As the potential market for Renewablesources of energy is rapidly increasing, the cost of these sources is rapidlydecreasing making them more and more available for use of the common people.