Exploring Renewable Energy & Green Technology: Forms, Applications, Advantages, Disadvantages
Table of Contents
Our environment is facing several serious challenges from energy utilization, such as fossil fuel exhaustion, air pollution, deteriorated atmospheric greenhouse effects, global warming, climate change, etc. To solve these problems derived from non-renewable fuel consumption, a variety of countermeasures, such as the founding of the RE100 campaign and the target of net zero emissions by 2050, have been launched. To achieve these targets, the development of green energy technology plays a pivotal role.
Green Energy Technology (GET) covers technologies, products, equipment, and devices as well as energy services based on software and data protected by patents and/or trademarks. recent trends and underline the principles of a circular economy, such as sustainable product design, extending the product life cycle, reusability, and recycling.
Renewable energy sources, also called non-conventional energy sources, are sources that are continuously replenished by natural processes. For example, solar energy, wind energy, bio-energy (biofuels grown sustainably), hydropower, etc. are some of the examples of renewable energy sources. A renewable energy system converts the energy found in sunlight, wind, falling water, sea waves, geothermal heat, or biomass into a form that we can use, such as heat or electricity. The majority of renewable energy is derived directly or indirectly from the sun, wind, or water and can never be depleted; thus, it is referred to as renewable.
Working biogas plant
A slurry mixture of equal quantities of biomass and water is prepared in the mixing tank. The prepared slurry is fed into the inlet chamber of the digester through the pipe. The plant is left unused for about two months, and the introduction of more slurry is stopped. During this period, anaerobic fermentation of the biomass takes place in the presence of water and produces biogas in the digester. Biogas, being the lighter, rises up and starts collecting in the gas holder.
The gas holder is now moving upward. The gas holder cannot rise above a certain level. As more and more gas starts collecting, more pressure begins to be exerted on the slurry. The spent slurry is now forced into the outlet chamber from the top of the inlet chamber. When the outlet chamber gets filled with the spent slurry excess, it is forced out through the outlet pipe into the overflow tank. This is the later, used as manure for the plants.
The heat from solar ponds can be used in a variety of different ways. First, since the heat-storing abilities of the solar ponds are so great, they are ideal for use in heating and cooling buildings as they can maintain a fairly stable temperature. These ponds can also be used to generate electricity, either by driving a thermoelectric device or some organic ranking engine that cycles a turbine powered by evaporating a fluid, in this case a lower boiling point fluid. Finally, solar ponds can be used for desalination purposes, as the low cost of this thermal energy can be used to remove salt from water for drinking or irrigation purposes.
Various Forms of Renewable Energy
- Solar energy
- Wind energy.
- Bioenergy and Biofuel.
- Hydro energy.
- Geothermal energy.
- Wave and tidal energy
1. Solar energy
Slurry (a mixture of equal quantities of biomass and water) is prepared in a mixing tank. The prepared slurry is fed into the inlet chamber of a digester through the inlet pipe. A plant is left unused for about two months, and the introduction of more slurry is stopped. During this period, anaerobic fermentation of the biomass takes place in the presence of water and produces biogas in the digester. Biogas, being lighter, rises up and starts collecting in the gas holder.
The gas holder is now moving upward. The gas holder cannot rise above a certain level. As more and more gas starts collecting, more pressure begins to be exerted on the slurry. The spent slurry is now forced into the outlet chamber from the top of the inlet chamber. When the outlet chamber gets filled with the spent slurry, any excess is forced out through the outlet pipe into the overflow tank. Solar energy has been the most readily available and free source of energy since prehistoric times, and it is now used as plant manure.
2. Wind energy
Wind energy is basically the harnessing of wind power to produce electricity. The kinetic energy of wind is converted to electrical energy. When solar radiation enters the Earth’s atmosphere, different regions of the atmosphere are heated to different degrees because of the earth’s curvature. This heating is greater near the equator and less so near the poles. Since air tends to Wind energy is basically the harnessing of wind power to produce electricity. The kinetic energy of the wind is converted to electrical energy. When solar radiation enters the earth’s atmosphere, different regions of the atmosphere are heated to different degrees because of the earth’s curvature. This heating is highest at the equator and lowest at the poles. because air tends to.
3. Bio energy
Biomass is a renewable energy resource derived from the carbonaceous waste of various human and natural activities. It is derived from numerous sources, including by-products from the wood industry, agricultural crops, raw material from the forest, household wastes, etc. Biofuel Unlike other renewable energy sources, biomass can be directly converted into liquid fuels for the transportation needs of cars, trucks, buses, airplanes, and trains. The two most common types of biofuels are ethanol and biodiesel.
4. Hydro energy
The potential energy of falling water, captured and converted to mechanical energy by the waterwheels, powered the start of the industrial revolution. Wherever sufficient head or a change in elevation could be found, rivers and streams were dammed and mills were built. Water under pressure flows through a turbine, causing it to spin. The turbine is connected to a generator, which produces electricity.
5. Geothermal energy
Geothermal energy is the heat derived from the subsurface of the earth. Water and steam carry geothermal energy to the earth’s surface. Depending on its characteristics, geothermal energy can be used for heating and cooling purposes or harnessed to generate clean electricity. However, for the generation of electricity, high- or medium-temperature resources are needed, which are usually located close to the tectonically active regions.
6. Tidal and Ocean Energy
Tidal electricity generation involves the construction of a barrage across an estuary to block the incoming and outgoing tides. The head of water is then used to drive turbines to generate electricity from the elevated water in the basin, as in hydroelectric dams. Oceans cover more than 70% of Earth’s surface, making them the world’s largest solar collectors. Ocean energy draws on the energy of ocean waves, tides, or the thermal energy stored in the ocean. The sun warms surface water a lot more than deep ocean water, and the temperature difference stores thermal energy.
Benefits and Drawbacks
One benefit of using these ponds is that they have an extremely large thermal mass. Since these ponds can store heat energy very well, they can generate electricity during the day when the sun is shining as well as at night. Despite being a source of energy, there are numerous thermodynamic limitations as a result of the relatively low temperatures achieved in the ponds.
Because of this, solar-to-electricity conversion is fairly inefficient, generally less than 2%. As well, the large amounts of fresh water are necessary to maintain the right salt concentrations throughout the pond. This is an issue in places where fresh water is hard to come by, especially in desert environments.
How it works
In terms of pollution, green technology includes both process and product technologies that generate little or no waste and increase resource and energy efficiency. They also cover end-of-the-pipe technologies for treating pollution. Green technology does not only mean individual technologies but also systems, including know-how, procedures, goods, services, and equipment, as well as organisational and managerial procedures.
Green technology explained
There is no commonly accepted or internationally agreed definition of “green technology.” The term can be broadly defined as technology that has the potential to significantly improve environmental performance relative to other technologies. It is related to the term “environmentally sound technology,” which was adopted under the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development Agenda 21, although it is no longer widely used.
Based on Agenda 21, environmentally sound technologies are geared to protect the environment, are less polluting, use all resources in a more sustainable manner, recycle more of their wastes and products, and handle residual wastes in a more acceptable manner than the technologies for which they were substituted. 1 Other related terms for green technology include “climate-smart,” “climate-friendly,” and “low-carbon technology.”
Challenges to green technology adoption
Generally, green technology is more expensive than the technology it aims to replace because it accounts for the environmental costs that are externalized in many conventional production processes. Because it is a relatively new associated development, the associated training costs can make it even more expensive when compared to established technologies.
Advantages of renewable energy
- These sources of energy are renewable, so there is no danger of depletion. These recur in nature and are exhaustible.
- The power plants based on renewable sources of energy don’t have any fuel costs and, hence, negligible running costs.
- Renewables are more site-specific and are used for local processing and application. There is no need for power transmission or distribution.
Disadvantages of renewable energy
- The low energy density of renewable sources of energy needs large sizes of plants resulting in increased cost of delivered energy.
- Intermittency and lack of dependability are the main disadvantages of renewable energy sources.
Overview of Renewable Energy Technologies
This section provides an overview and a brief description, including fundamentals, of the different renewable energy technologies wind solar bioenergy hydro, and geothermal energy.
Local Conditions for Renewable Energy
There is great potential for renewable energy since solar radiation and the mean wind speed are above the national average, and there are also good opportunities for biomass. In addition to this, the people of the island have gained extensive experience with renewable energy through the many projects that have now been implemented.
Before the Renewable Energy Island project, there was already a substantial amount of renewable energy exploitation in some areas, such as biomass and the district heating plant, which has operated reliably since 1993. This helped prevent possible uncertainties among the population about the project.
Strengths from adopting green technology
- Capability to meet stringent product specifications in foreign markets: Manufacturers in developing countries typically need stricter environmental requirements and specifications when exporting to industrialized countries than vice versa. Adopting green technologies can help export companies gain an advantage and market share over their competitors.
- Reduction of input costs: Green technology can improve production efficiency through the reduction of input costs, energy costs, and operating and maintenance costs, which can improve a company’s competitive position.
- Environmental image: Adopting green technology can improve a company’s environmental reputation, which is crucial if other competitors and consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious.
- Ability to meet stricter environmental regulations in the future: Companies that invest in green technology are more likely to be better equipped and ready for stricter environmental regulations as well as product specifications that are expected to be imposed on them in the future.
- Renewables can be used for both electricity and heat generation. There is a wide range of renewable energy technologies suitable for implementation in developing countries for a whole variety of different applications.
- Renewable energy can contribute to grid-connected generation but also has a large scope for off-grid applications and can be very suitable for remote and rural applications in developing countries.