Electricity powers our world. It keeps our lights on, runs our refrigerators, and gives juice to our computers. It even powers many of our vehicles in our modern world. If we are going to meet growing demand, we must make key changes in the future. This is why renewable energy sources are so important.
Sources of Electricity Generation
Fossil fuels are the largest source of energy. In 2021, natural gas generated about 38-percent of electricity generation in the United States. Coal was the second-largest energy source at 22%. Petroleum was the source of less than 1% of U.S. electricity generation.
About one-fifth of U.S. electricity comes from nuclear energy. It was the source of about 19% of electricity generation in 2021. Renewable energy sources were responsible for about 20% of total U.S. electricity generation the same year.
Hydropower plants, wind energy and solar energy also contribute to electricity generation in the United States. In fact, the use of renewable resources is on the rise.
Renewable energy is derived from renewable, natural sources, such as sunlight and wind. It’s replenished faster than it is consumed and there is plenty of it available. Fossil fuels are non-renewable energy resources that take hundreds of millions of years to form. When they are burned to produce energy, fossil fuels cause harmful greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide.
Growth of Renewable Energy
Renewable energy sources are providing an increasing share of U.S. electricity. This energy creates far lower emissions than burning fossil fuels. Making the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy is key to addressing the climate crisis. Renewables are now cheaper in most countries and generate three times more jobs than fossil fuels.
Types of Renewable Energy
There are a few common types of renewable energy. This form of electrical energy has been around a long time. However, modern technology has allowed us to use more of it.
Solar energy is the most abundant of all energy sources. Solar technologies can deliver heat, cooling, natural lighting, electricity and fuels for many applications. Solar is often the cheapest form of electricity, and solar panels last for roughly 30 years.
Wind energy harnesses the kinetic energy of moving air. It comes from large wind turbines located on land or at sea. Recent technologies are able to maximize the electricity produced by wind energy. Great potential exists in most regions of the world for this type of energy use.
This type of renewable energy is taken from the Earth’s core. Heat is extracted from geothermal reservoirs using wells.
Hydropower harnesses the energy of water moving from higher to lower elevations. It can be generated from reservoirs and rivers. Hydropower reservoirs can provide drinking water. Small-scale hydro, a more environmentally-friendly option, is perfect for communities in remote areas. Hydropower is the largest source of renewable energy in the electricity sector.
How Power Gets to Our Homes
Power plants generate electricity that is delivered to customers through transmission and distribution power lines. Electricity moves through the power “grid” of electricity substations, transformers, and power lines that connect electricity producers and consumers. Transmission lines carry electricity long distances while distribution lines take it to houses. Transformers step down voltages before electricity enters our homes for use.
The Future of Electricity
If we are going to meet growing energy demands in the future, we must modernize our systems and turn to “cleaner” energy sources. Using renewable energy sources is one of the fastest-growing ways to get cleaner, greener electricity. Our future depends on it.
Contact Us for all of Your Electrical Needs
The folks at CKElectric can handle all of your electrical projects, big or small! We can help you with electrical upgrades, repairs and wiring. We serve Sykesville, Eldersburg, Frederick, and all of Central Maryland. Call us at 443-920-3078 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to serve you!