9 Incredible Facts About Renewable Resources
When it comes to climate change, renewable energy is one of the best resources we can harness to reduce the threat of global warming. Sources of renewable energy such as hydro, wind, and solar power don’t emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, like non-renewable sources. Ultimately, by switching to renewable energy, we can work towards reducing the effects of global warming.
If you’re curious about climate change, facts about renewable energy will prove useful. With that in mind, we’re sharing some clean energy facts, fun facts about renewable energy, and highlight facts about alternative energy.
In addition, we’ll answer questions like, ‘what are some useful green energy facts?’, and ‘what are the top facts about renewable resources?’ Our alternative energy facts will be split into three sections — solar, hydro, and wind — before sharing some information about non-renewable energy.
Solar Power Facts
Solar energy creates clean, renewable power from the sun. Below are some facts about clean energy from solar power.
1. Solar power is the most abundant source of energy on the planet.
Enough solar energy hits the Earth each hour to meet the planet’s power needs for a whole year. Every cubic foot of natural gas, lump of coal, and drop of oil could remain untouched if we could harness the power of one hour’s worth of solar energy every year.
2. There are over two million solar power systems installed in the U.S.
In 2019, the U.S. surpassed a milestone of over two million solar power system installations. By 2023, the industry is estimated to hit four million installations on U.S. soil, highlighting solar’s exponential growth as the fastest-growing energy resource on the planet.
3. Solar energy can be used to create potable water.
An interesting renewable energy fact is that creating salt from seawater is one of the oldest documented uses of solar energy.
Hydropower is America’s cleanest renewable energy source.
4. Every U.S. state uses hydropower to generate electricity.
Some states, such as Washington, California, and Oregon, use significant amounts. For example, Washington State generates more than 70% of its electricity from hydropower, and 11 other states get over 10% of their electricity via hydropower. Hydroelectricity provides around 7% of the entire electricity generated in the U.S. and over 50% of the electricity from renewable sources.
5. Hydropower is one of the oldest sources of power on Earth.
This power source has been used for centuries, with evidence of its use dating back to ancient Greece more than 2,000 years ago. Farmers in this region used it to support mechanical tasks such as grinding grain.
6. Hydropower does not produce toxic byproducts or air pollution.
Hydropower is a popular renewable energy source as it produces no air pollution or toxic byproducts.
Wind Energy Facts
When it comes to facts about renewable resources, wind energy is a fascinating topic.
7. Wind energy is harnessed by the aerodynamic blades of a wind turbine.
The average size of an onshore wind turbine today is roughly 2.5-3 MW, with 50-meter blades. The blades are powered by the wind, transferring motion to a shaft connected to a generator; this process is used to generate electricity.
8. The world’s first modern wind turbine was built in the U.S. in the 1940s.
The Smith-Putnam wind turbine, the world’s first megawatt-size turbine, was connected to the local electrical distribution system in 1941. This turbine operated successfully for over 1100 hours before failing due to its construction. Because of war-time shortages, the turbine was made from weak, inadequate materials. Until 1979, this turbine was the largest ever built.
9. Small wind turbines can be used as backup power or to charge batteries.
Your power provider can connect a small turbine to the electrical grid. These turbines are often installed on the roof of a building where there is ample wind resource. Smaller wind turbines tend to be between 1kW and 2kW in size.
Non-Renewable Energy Facts
Now that we’ve reviewed some renewable facts, let’s look at some interesting information about non-renewable energy sources:
1. Fossil fuels cause the worst environmental damage.
The extraction and use of fossil fuels have caused many of the environmental challenges we face today. This includes water pollution, acid rain, climate change, and global warming.
2. Fossil fuel reliance accelerated after World War II.
Most people consider the Second World War to be the turning point of fossil fuel consumption, as it was the first war to be fought using tanks and aircraft. Near the end of the war, the motor vehicle age began, shortly followed by the electronics revolution. During the last 80 years or so, the global consumption of fossil fuels has sharply increased, leading to accelerated depletion of many non-renewable resources.
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