What Is Renewable Energy?

What is Renewable Energy? Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sources, which are restored or replenished continuously. Energy from the sun, wind, tides and biomass all make up sources of renewable energy. Using them is a matter of technology, not of excavation.

Sources such as fossil fuels, natural gas and coal, which are predominantly used in today’s energy mix, cannot be replenished – at least not within a time period that matters to us. It requires thousands to millions of years for fossil fuels to be created by geological forces. That’s why, if we run out of natural gas reserves or coal reserves, which we soon will, we will have to do without them for a long, long time.

Renewable energy sources on the other hand are abundant. Sources such as solar and wind energy do not need any time to get replenished as they are always available wherever there is sunlight and wind. It’s the ultimate free lunch!

Moreover, conventional sources of energy such as coal also severely impact the environment as burning them releases massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. For a long time it seemed like we had no choice other than burning fossil fuels and for most of the 20th century, we were not aware of the negative environmental can climate impacts. Therefore, as global energy requirements have increased exponentially since the early days of industrialization, so has our use of fossil fuels.


Renewable Energy To Fight Climate Change

However, the impacts of overburdening the atmosphere with so much CO2 have proved disastrous. We are now in an age of global warming and rising temperatures. According to climate scientists, the most horrible effects of climate change may take place, if global temperatures rise above 2° C and if that happens, we will be beyond a point of no return and the environment will take at least a century to correct itself. We might not be around to witness it.

A recent report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN body, has put this point of no return at 16 years from now – if we follow our current trajectory. Renewable energy is the perfect alternative to counter this challenge. In fact, renewable energy (including large hydro power) already accounts for 22 % of world’s total energy production. Solar PV is one of the fastest growing technologies as it is extremely easy to install and maintain, comes in all shapes and sizes and has seen an incredibly rapid cost reduction over the last years. India is rapidly moving towards adopting solar energy and already has over 4 GW of solar energy power plants installed (as of 2015).

A look outside the window, where the sun usually shines, the smell of your diesel genset fumes, the pain of your monthly power bill and a concern for your children and grandchildren should all lead you towards adopting solar. And there is much you can do yourself. Start by using our solar our Solar Calculator


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Gayrajan Kohli
Gayrajan Kohli
Gayrajan is a staunch solar promoter, serial entrepreneur & management consultant. He has a decade of experience in solar PV, disruptive technologies and political consultancy in USA and India. He believes that development of solar and other renewable technologies is critical to India's energy security. Gayrajan holds a Masters and a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from USA. Follow him on Twitter to gain daily industry insights.
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