New Energy Sources, New Green Lifestyle
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In recent years, the technologies of using renewable energy, particularly energy from wind, solar power, ocean and biomass, are developing fast.
renewable energy comes either directly or indirectly from the sun.
Sunlight, or solar energy, can be used directly for heating and lighting
homes and other buildings, for generating electricity, and for hot water
heating, solar cooling, and a variety of commercial and industrial uses.
The sun's heat also
drives the wind, whose energy is captured with wind turbines. Then, the
winds and the sun's heat cause water to evaporate. When this water vapor
turns into rain or snow and flows downhill into rivers or streams, its
energy can be captured using hydropower.
Along with the rain and
snow, sunlight causes plants to grow. The organic matter that makes up
those plants is known as biomass. Biomass can be used to produce
electricity, transportation fuels, or chemicals. The use of biomass for
any of these purposes is called biomass energy.
Hydrogen also can be
found in many organic compounds, as well as water. It's the most
abundant element on the Earth. But it doesn't occur naturally as gas.
It's always combined with other elements, such as with oxygen to make
water. Once separated from another element, hydrogen can be burned as a
fuel or converted into electricity.
Not all renewable energy
resources come from the sun. Geothermal energy taps the Earth's internal
heat for a variety of uses, including electric power production, and the
heating and cooling of buildings. And the energy of the ocean's tides
comes from the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun upon the
In fact, ocean energy
comes from a number of sources. In addition to tidal energy, there is energy of the ocean's waves, which are driven by both the tides and the
wind. The sun also warms the surface of the ocean more than the ocean
depths, creating a temperature difference that can be used as an energy
source. All these forms of ocean energy can be used to produce
Renewable energy provides
many important benefits including:
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