Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development around the World

Renewable

Energy is the first thread that is directly associated with the development of the economy, social equality and the improvement of environmental factors, in a country. Sustainable energy is essential for sustainable development. An erroneous view has persisted among the critics that renewable energy resources are a luxury and are affordable only in a prosperous world. However, this took a different course in 2015 when the investment of non-hydro power generation peaked in various countries. Almost $156 billion was invested in the same in countries like India and Brazil.

Renewable energy resources like solar, wind, thermal, biomass and many more are abundantly and alternatively available in almost all countries across the world. Making use of this energy extensively to harness electricity, reduces our dependency on perishable resources like oil and natural gas. In rural and isolated areas, off-grid technologies can be implemented as an alternative to the diesel generator. This includes the replacement of kerosene lamps and traditional use of biomass for energy and electricity. Kenya is the first African country to implement the use of geothermal power, producing electricity of 200MW. It is leading in the world for the number of solar power plants and solar panels installed in the country.

Renewable energy in developing countries

The lack of access to renewable energy resources in the past has had a severe impact on today’s resources. For instance, in 2009, almost 1.4 billion people had no access to electricity, whereas 2.7 billion of them depended on the use of repressible resources like coal and fossil fuels. This has caused climatic changes over the years and many more hazardous effects. In developing countries, where 70% of the population stay in the rural areas, the use of renewable energy resources are the best option as transmitting and gridded the electricity through the villages is a tedious procedure. In the papers written by P Richards, he suggests that the efficient use of agriculture can be another source of alternative renewable energy in the developing countries, which is not just limited to the countries but also extends a great deal of impact on the climatic conditions across the globe.

The environmental concerns and hazardous phenomena like global warming and depletion of the ozone layers have reduced the cost of technologies and also increased the reliability of the alternative forms of energy generation.

Renewable energy

Uses for sustainable development

According to studies, collectively there is an abundance of renewable energy resources available in the developing countries, for example, Indian and China that are rapidly growing markets for renewable energy. Many rural areas in certain countries have employed the use of off-grid technologies to transmit power. The purpose of this renewable energy recourse has caused a drastic change in the world today, which includes:

  • Poverty alleviation
  • Better health conditions especially in rural areas
  • Education

Conclusion

The use of renewable energy resources has increased extensively in recent years because it is predominantly a necessity than a luxury. Programs from supportive organizations, business, government, and non-profit organizations are also equally supporting companies for the use of the latest technologies to use non-renewable resources for sustainable development.

Renewable Energy is Expensive and Other Myths that Must be Examined

Renewable Energy

Myths have always been associated with numerous concepts as they try to take away the fact of the matter. As a result, when an individual learns about the myth by viewing it as a fact, they tend to be misled into a whole different direction. But the truth will always stay the same, and it’s never too late to learn more about the same. Hence, today we are going to uncover specific facts about renewable energy and help you understand the truth of the matter.

1. Renewable Energy is an Expensive Energy Source

One of the most common myths about renewable energy talks about the aspect of being expensive. Well, in reality, renewable energy is actually the cheapest energy source. As hydro has been competitive for years, advanced methods have come into the picture to reduce installation costs and various other aspects. Due to that, utilising renewable energy incurs fewer costs than what one could imagine. Moreover, the field always moves under the guidance of innovation and technological advancement. As a result, be ready to witness numerous changes over the coming years.

Land from Agriculture

2. Renewable Energy Take Away Land from Agriculture and Livestock

When you go into the detail side of renewable energy, you will realise that it does not grab land from agriculture and livestock activities. The surface area occupied by a wind turbine is quite minimal and moreover, compatible. You can always carry forward the activity of agriculture and livestock with renewable energy, as the benefits that the process generates tends to go up in numbers. On the other hand, solar plants are commonly installed on land where other kinds of activities are not carried.

3. Wind Turbines are Harmful to Birds

In terms of comparison, one will never proclaim wind turbines to be more harmful than other human-made activities. Deaths of birds caused by wind turbines do not go to a large extent as the effects are quite minimal. But that does not eliminate the need for a study regarding the impact. As a result, every single renewable energy project should always be carried forward with a study about its environmental impact. By doing so, one will get a clear picture of the matter and move ahead to do the needful.

 

4. Wind Turbines Produce a lot of Noise

Another common myth about wind turbines points towards the possible noise that it produces. But in reality, the noise produced is often being compared to that of a fridge or a microwave. Due to that, installing a wind turbine goes ahead to make more sense than what one could imagine. To make matters all the more interesting, the process of installation needs to be processed with regulations and rules. Hence, renewable energy is the right way towards a possible future.

Generation of Electricity using Wind Energy

Wind Energy

Wind energy is the energy generated using the abundantly available wind in the atmosphere. It is a renewable source of energy that is available sufficiently and can power millions of homes at once. The uneven heating on the earth’s surface by the sun causes wind that contain kinetic energy due to its motion. Making use of this kind of energy will reduce our dependency on non-renewable resources like fossil fuels, that will positively have a drastic impact on the environment. Wind energy is generated with the help of wind turbines, where its kinetic energy is converted into mechanical form to produce electricity. There are three types of wind energy.

  • Utility-scale wind: Wind turbines that generate 100KW to megawatts of electricity, which is then transferred to the grids to the power operators
  • Distributed wind: Wind turbines that generate less than 100KW of power, that is directly installed to power homes and small businesses.
  • Offshore wind: They’re the one that is installed in the middle of the water body or off the shore that develops massive amounts of power.

Wind Turbines

Working of Wind Turbines

The wind contains kinetic energy that is collected by the turbine blades of the wind turbine, which causes a lift in the blades and inturn spins the blades which connected to a shaft, that produces electricity due to the blades’ rotational motion. A gearing system connected to the shaft increases the intensity of these rotations and generates a higher intensity of power.

Nowadays, these wind turbines are installed in the outskirts of a city or higher elevated areas, which is called a wind farm. Ideal conditions to install the wind turbines require a minimum wind speed of 9mph for medium to mall sized turbines and 13mph for utility turbines.

How we get the energy

All turbines are connected so that the electricity generated can be easily transported to more massive transmission lines and can travel across longer distances without much loss. This is done with the help of power grids. The electricity is stored in power grids and distributed across the city by power operators. They are transmitted with the help of distribution lines or network transmission lines, and hence ensuring every home and every building receives an abundance of electricity throughout the day for 365 days.

Environment

Association with the environment

Wind energy is one of the renewable forms of energy; that has proved its efficiency for ages now. Wind energy for electricity has only seen drastic improvements over the years. However, one crucial aspect of hampering production is the intermittency of wind. A key metric used to gauge its production is the capacity factor, which is the maximum capacity of the wind in one-year v/s the amount produced for that particular year and 90% of the times it is proved to be successful.

Due to the large scale benefits by wind energy, many countries are facing funding for the betterment of the system. According to a report, in 2016, over 950 billion KW of power was produced solely by wind energy in 128 countries.