What is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is sustainable energy that comes from the natural environment. Certain sources of energy are “renewable” as they are maintained or replaced by nature. Renewable energy is obtained from sources that are essentially inexhaustible, unlike fossil fuels, of which there is a finite supply and cannot be replenished. Renewable sources of energy include solar, wind, water, biomass, wood, waste, geothermal, wind, photovoltaic, and solar thermal energy. Non renewable energy sources include coal, oil and natural gas.
Why is renewable energy important?
Energy is a basic input into virtually every aspect of personal and business activity. Energy, in some form, is involved in most household activities, such as heating, cooling, cooking, lighting, transport or enjoying services or products that require energy in their supply. Firms also use energy in virtually all of their activities, whether it is processing and manufacturing materials, transporting goods, heating and cooling premises, providing telecommunication services or powering computers. As a result, energy is a fundamental part of life in Australia and the energy sector is an essential component of the Australian Economy.
What are the benefits of using renewable energy?
One of the greatest benefits of renewable energy is its potential to provide affordable and clean sources of electricity. Additionally, there are reduced costs through resource savings, increased revenue through eco-efficiencies, and reduced risks and finance costs. Renewable energy also minimizes pollution and positively impacts the environment in many ways, thus companies who choose to use renewable energy enhance their reputational capital and hence are considered to be socially responsible corporate citizens.
Essential benefits that renewable energy has to offer:
- Renewables are sustainable energy resources which means that they avoid the depletion of natural resources for future generations
- Renewables avoid and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, sulfur oxide emissions as well as carbon dioxide emissions
- Limits the adverse effect of high and fluctuating natural gas prices
- Reduces dependence on foreign oil sources and nuclear energy
- Renewables can avoid and reduce these air emissions as well as water consumption, thermal pollution, waste, noise and adverse land-use impacts
- Most conventional emission-abatement measures in all sectors impose costs with no offsetting savings; renewables, on the other hand, produce fuel savings over their operating lives that cover some or all of their initial costs
- Improves air quality and visibility due to decreased burning of fossil fuels which avoids compliance costs
- Renewable energy provides a new avenue for rural economic development, increases the tax base, insures against rising or variable fuel costs, decreases dependence on foreign energy sources