Before we get started, there are a few basic questions that we need to answer. Specifically, we need to know what is renewable energy, what’s good about it and why aren’t we already taking advantage of the many benefits renewable energy has to offer.
To establish which energy source is best, we use six key metrics. Specifically, these are energy price, life span, energy generated per square kilometre, payback period, carbon offset period and global potential. In this article, we explain what these metrics are and how we use them.
The Three Gorges Dam in China produced more than 100 billion kWh of energy in 2018.10 That’s enough energy to power some 5.3 million homes.11 However, can hydroelectric dams provide us with enough energy to replace all our existing fossil fuel power plants? What’s more, does hydroelectricity really reduce our greenhouse gas emissions?
A one-kilometre stretch of coastline could provide some 104 million kWh per year using nearshore wave devices.18 That’s enough energy to power some 5,500 typical homes.19 However, can we meet all the world’s energy demand using nearshore wave devices? Furthermore, what damage would this do to our coastlines?
Using offshore wave devices, a one-kilometre stretch of coastline could provide some 128 million kWh per year.20 That’s enough energy to power some 6,800 typical homes,21 slightly more than we could power using nearshore wave devices.22 However, are there enough waves available for us to meet the world’s energy demand using offshore wave devices?
Looking through the datasheets, it is clear that there is a wealth of renewable energy waiting to be tapped into, however, many of these renewable devices capture energy from the same source. For example, photovoltaics and solar thermal both capture energy from the sun to operate. As we are unable to capture the same energy […]