Renewable Energy Facts and Sustainability Tips
Renewable energy is derived from sources that are replenished naturally by the Earth. Before the discovery of coal deposits and the spark of the industrial revolution, most of the energy we used for heating and lighting were from renewable sources – crazy, right?
Now, during this current state of environmental and global warming crises, many countries are turning back to the use of green energy. The main sources of renewable energy are solar, wind, hydropower, biofuel, and geothermal.
Renewable Energy Facts
- Over 500,000 new jobs were created by renewable energy last year globally, which is a 5.3 percent raise compared to 2016
- In 1839, Alexandre Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect, or how an electrical currant is created from sunlight. The first commercial photovoltaic cell was invented over 100 years later in 1954
- Europe is home to 4,000 offshore wind turbines across 11 countries, with 13 new farms completed in 2017. The United Kingdom was responsible for more than half of the wind power capacity that was built across the continent last year
- Renewable sources accounted for 17.6 percent of total electrical generation in 2017 in the U.S., and 15.3 percent in 2016.
- Scientists believe that there is enough sunlight that falls on the earth in an hour to meet the world’s energy demand for a whole year!
- In 2015, D.C. Water was the first utility in North America to converted treated sewage sludge into electricity.
- The fossil fuel industry is largely over-subsidized relative to the renewable energy industry, receiving nearly the double the amount of subsidies.
- A person in North America wastes an average of 231 pounds of food every year, which, if converted into energy, would be enough to power a 100-watt light bulb for 2 weeks.
- One wind turbine can generate enough electricity to power up to 1,500 homes.
- Falling costs for wind and solar energy are threatening the dominance of oil and gas, pushing big oil companies like Shell and BP to invest in renewables.
- Humans have used geothermal energy for thousands of years; for example, ancient Romans used hot springs to heat their baths and homes. Hot springs could be considered one of our earliest luxuries!
- Hydropower is the most widely used renewable power source, accounting for more than 65% of the global power generation capacity from renewables.
- The U.K. has a “bio-bus” that is powered by biomethane gas generated through the treatment of sewage. The bus produces 30% fewer emissions compared to diesel buses, and can travel nearly 186 miles with a full tank.
Renergy is a huge supporter of renewable energy! Each year we take in nearly 200,000 tons of organic waste, which includes municipal, agricultural and food waste, and convert it into 17,000 mega-watt hours of energy. This is enough energy to power 2,000 homes with renewable energy. Not only do we strive to become less dependent on fossil fuel energy sources, but we also aim to keep organic waste out of the landfills and repurpose it responsibly.