Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable i-e naturally replenished. Renewables (small hydro, modern biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuels) accounted for another 2.7% and are growing very rapidly. The share of renewables in electricity generation is around 18%, with 15% of global electricity coming from hydroelectricity and 3% from new renewable.
Renewable energy is also referred as “clean energy” or “green energy”. This is because renewable energy produces minimal amounts of pollution. It is also termed as alternative energy. Renewable energy puts energy in our hands by offering increased local control of energy production, helping to ensure low prices and increase the security of our energy supply. Renewable energy also provides environmental benefits such as helping to improve local air quality and reducing our impact on the land, water and climate system. Increased use of renewable energy will also help boost local economies through job creation.
Though the use of fossil fuel like coal, oil and natural gas to make electricity dirties the nation’s air, consumes and pollutes water, hurts plants and animal life, creates toxic wastes, and causes global warming. Using nuclear fuels poses serious safety risks. The largest external costs from pollution are probably human health costs, in the form of health treatment costs, higher health insurance rates, missed work, and lost life. While renewable energy resources can provide many immediate environmental benefits by avoiding these impacts and risks and can help conserve fossil resources for future generations.
Some renewable technologies are small and modular, they can be sited in or near buildings where energy is used. These distributed generation technologies offer some benefits that utilities have usually not considered. Most importantly, distributed generation technologies can avoid costly expenditures on transmission and distribution. For example, a utility putting distributed generation in a new neighborhood might be able to use smaller transformers or reduce the size or number of power lines going to the neighborhood. Distributed generation reduces the wear and tear on existing distribution equipment, thereby delaying the need to replace or upgrade the equipment.