The buzz created around “going green” doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere soon, which means tapping into some of the ideas could be a great benefit to us. In the form of renewable energy, it’s a way we can live our daily routines fairly the same, yet remain off the grid, or close to it, without damaging the environment.
Solar energy is one of the most common forms of renewable energy. It is usually captured using solar panels on the roofs of building and homes, and can be used to heat buildings, generate electricity, and heat water.
Energy can also form from flowing water, which is known as hydropower. Hydropower can be used to provide electricity for your home. Some residents in the northwestern United States can purchase this electricity from a hydropower plant.
A larger, yet possibly unheard of, source of renewable energy is geothermal, which comes from the earth’s core. By using a geothermal, or a ground-source heat pump, the energy can be used to heat and cool homes and buildings.
Biomass energy, or bioenergy, is used by including biofuels in our cars with ethanol or biodiesel. It can also be used to buy clean electricity, also called biopower, purchase bioproducts such as biomass plastics, and heat homes and buildings with wood or biobased pellets.
In some areas of the western United States, residents have access to purchase “clean electricity” from a geothermal power plant. The clean electricity is purchased straight from the power supplier and is created from clean energy sources.
Other parts of the country have access to geothermal reservoirs of low-to-moderate temperatures (between 68 and 302 degrees Fahrenheit) of water. Residents living within close proximity to the reservoir can tap into it and use it directly for heating their homes, greenhouses, and districts.
The wind can also create energy that is captured by windmills and wind turbines. A small wind electric system can provide electricity for a home, and a wind turbine can be used for pumping water.