Energy

What Are the Five Major Types of Renewable Energy?

What Are the Five Major Types of Renewable Energy?

Hydro

  • Hydropower contributes 15.3% of global electricity generation
  • Hydropower’s cost per MWh is $64
  • How does it work? Dams or other diversion structures alter the natural flow of water to increase its elevation and volume
  • Water flows through the dam, generating mechanical energy that spins a turbine connected to an electric generator

Wind

  • Wind power contributes 6.6% of global electricity generation
  • Wind power’s cost per MWh is $38
  • How does it work? Wind flows over the blades of a wind turbine, creating mechanical power by turning the blades
  • The blades are connected to a drive shaft that turns an electric generator to produce electricity

Solar

  • Solar power contributes 3.7% of global electricity generation
  • The cost per MWh is $36
  • How does it work? Photovoltaic (PV) cells contain thin semiconductor wafers, forming an electric field
  • When light hits the cell, electrons are knocked loose from the semiconductor material and move in response to the electric field
  • This generates electricity, transferred through metal conductors on the PV cell

Biomass

  • Biomass contributes 2.3% of global electricity generation
  • The cost per MWh is $114
  • How does it work? Biomass is burned in a boiler to produce steam
  • The steam rotates the blades of a turbine connected to a generator that produces electricity
  • Biomass can also be converted into other liquid or gaseous fuels used to generate electricity

Geothermal

  • Geothermal contributes 1% of global electricity generation
  • The cost per MWh is $75
  • How does it work? Hot water from underground reservoirs is pumped using pipes or wells
  • As the water reaches the surface, it boils over into steam, which rotates a steam turbine
  • The turbine is connected to a generator that produces electricity

THE END.

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Simon Tyrus Caine

Simon Tyrus Caine is a solar energy expert with more than 10 years experience in the solar sector. Simon has worked and lived in more than 5 countries. Simon has been involved in solar installations, solar project development, solar financing as well as business development in the solar sector. At SolarEyes International, Simon manages content development and day to day operations of the organisation.

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