Sustainable energy is energy that can meet energy needs today; still it has ability to meet needs of future without leaving any harmful effects on environment. There are different types of renewable energies that can be counted under this head. In many developed and developing countries government is supporting the production and search of new resources so that they can become a part of this model. Increasing use of non-renewable energy sources is raising their prices and making them rare, to control this situation governments are considering worldwide to get energy solutions that are affordable and sustainable. Different renewable sources can be counted as sustainable energies including wind power, wave power, solar power and geothermal energy etc.
Sources of sustainable energy:
Connecting renewable energy sources with development of sustainable energy is appropriate consideration as these energies will never deprive nor they will cause direct air or water pollution. Few decades ago everyone was concerned about energy crises but now we have technologies that can produce electricity for us from wind, sun or waves power etc. All renewable sources are free and are available in abundant therefore we cannot say that using them today will leave nothing for us in future. The best source that we can use to get sustainable energy is hydropower because of its reliable availability. Same is not the case with wind and solar power, as in bad weather and night-time we cannot use solar power, and without solar power wind will not be generated.
If wind in available at high frequency then we can count it as second place on list of sustainable energies. It is today the fastest-growing source of electricity in many countries and still there is a lot of scope for further expansion. Government grants and subsidies are also promoting use of wind power for electricity generation.
Sustainable energy technologies:
Different technologies are contributing to sustainable energy so that dependence on fossil fuels can be reduced and energy demands can be met easily. Another aspect that sustainable energy will cover is saving world from global warming and reducing emission of carbon gases or greenhouse effect. Studies show that three different technologies are helping this world in electricity generation from sustainable sources.
- First generation technologies are preferably used in locations which are rich in sustainable energy resources. Hydropower is on top of this list due to its reliable availability and neglect-able carbon emission. Critics say that large scale hydroelectric plants cause dislocation of people living where the reservoirs are planned and release of significant amounts of carbon dioxide during construction and flooding of the reservoir.
- Second generation technologies are still at its growing stage in some countries but still this technology is making market for itself. Only challenge faced by this generation of technology is to broaden its level of acceptance. Solar heating systems are a well known second-generation technology and are used for different purposes at home and industrial level. In hot climates this technology can give impressive results but it has some limitations like it is not available in night time.
- Third generation technologies are not yet commercialized but are most potential as compared to other generations. These newest technologies include advanced biomass gasification, bio-refinery technologies, solar thermal power stations, hot dry rock geothermal energy, and ocean energy.
Advantages and Disadvantages:
- Different incentive programs are offered for use of sustainable energy.
- Lifetime cost incurred on installation of technology is lesser as compared to amount of electricity bills.
- Sustainable energy can be used for year without considering that it will end/
- It does not leave harmful effects on environment
- Availability of these sources of energy is not reliable.
- It is difficult to generate in huge quantities as compared to fossil fuels.
- Initial cost of building a plant is very high.