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The Importance of Renewable Energy It seems that over the past few years we have heard more and more about the importance of renewable energy. Unfortunately many people don’t exactly know what the term means and why it is important. To define the term, renewable energy is energy generated from the earth’s natural resources, things like sunlight, wind, rain and geothermal heat. The reason that the use of renewable energy has become so important in recent years is because of the many benefits that it provides to us and lessens the negative impact on our planet. Renewable energy sources will never run out, so there is an unlimited supply unlike other resources that we use every day, like oil for example. Using renewable energy here in the United States reduces our dependence on foreign countries for providing energy resources. Both renewable and non-renewable energy sources are used to power our vehicles, generate our electricity, as well as provide light, cooling and heating. Here are a few renewable energy sources that can be taken advantage of to produce electricity and be less harmful to the environment.

Wind Power Using wind for energy is one of the fastest growing renewable energy technologies. The way it is harnessed is by placing wind turbines in places where there are typically strong and consistent winds. The turbines are able to help turn the wind into electricity without creating pollution that can be harmful to the environment.

Hydropower In the United States, using water to help create electricity is the most common practice of renewable energy. Hydroelectric power plants place a dam on a river to help store water. That water is then funneled through turbines that help convert it to usable electricity. Hydropower is one of the least expensive sources of electricity.

Geothermal Power The way geothermal power works is using the natural sources of heat inside our planet to produce electricity. For the most part, using hot water or steam from

underground produces geothermal heat. This method of renewable energy generation does not do have a major impact on the environment because it produces a very small amount of emissions and the power source is always available. Geothermal energy is generally viewed as efficient, environmentally friendly, and reliable.

Solar Power Perhaps the most talked about and wellknown source of renewable energy that most people are familiar with is solar power. Using the sun’s energy to provide heat, light, electricity hot water and cooling for residences and places of business is how solar power works. There are a few different kinds of solar “collectors�, the most popular of which are solar panels. With solar panels, you can harness the power of the sun to provide energy. There are even portable solar panels and solar-powered devices to help provide needed electricity for people on the go. 21st Century Products offers a variety of these portable solar products to help keep you powered up, while at the same time reducing your impact on the environment. Check out their line of innovative solar panel products today. Photo Credit: Farm2, Farm4

The Importance of Renewable Energy