Renewable Energy Sources in the United States

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 3:25 PM

I found many articles that offer a great deal of information into all of the renewable energy sources in the United States. These are sources of energy that are continuously replenished. We get energy from a variety of different resources such as, water, wind, the sun, etc. When I think about this it reminds me of driving to my grandparents house when I was a child and seeing hundreds of wind mills along the way. I never knew when I was younger that these were actually providing energy to millions of people. Geothermal sources are also renewable sources of energy. Along with renewable energy sources, comes non-renewable sources such as coal, oil and natural gas. Once these sources of energy are used, they cannot be used again. I found it quite interesting learning about all of the renewable and non-renewable energy sources available to us in the United States.

Hydropower is when we are able to generate electricity using water. There are many ways that we use water for energy. Water is actually the most common renewable source of energy in the United States today. One way in which water provides energy is from dams. We all know that dams store water, but they also let some water through and this water flows through a turbine which turns a generator and produces electricity.

Another renewable energy source comes from the wind. Wind has actually become the fastest growing energy technology in recent years. Wind turbines are placed in areas that are commonly known to be windy. With strong winds, the turbines spin more and this causes more energy to be produced. Of course, that is me explaining the process in simple terms. There is obviously much more to it. The windiest places in the United States, where the most turbines can be found are, Alaska, the Western United States and the Appalachian Mountains. Wind power currently supplies approximately 1% of our electricity needs in the United States. Wind continues to grow in supplying electricity for us, but it cannot be completely relied on for all of our electric needs.
Solar power is obviously energy that we gain from the sun. One would think that the sun is probably the biggest contributor of energy out of any of these renewable sources, but it actually provides less than 1% of our energy. However, this percentage is expected to increase once new and efficient solar technologies are invented. Many different kinds of solar collectors can be found all throughout the United States. Solar power can be either an advantage or disadvantage depending on where you live throughout the world. Obviously, the sun shines a lot more in some regions than it does in others. It will be interesting to see what new solar power techniques they comes up with.

There are many other renewable energy sources than the ones mentioned above. However, I found that hydropower, wind power and solar power are the three most important. They are also never going to fail us because we are never going to run short of water, wind or the sun. Some others include geothermal power and biomass power. The link below talks more in depth about each one of these energy sources.

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