Types of renewable energy sources

The renewable energies are those based on the use of natural resources such as sunlight, water, wind, plant biomass, among others. Their main characteristic is that they do not use fossil fuels but rather use natural resources that are capable of unlimited renewal.

Today we will talk about renewable energies and their main types.

Type of renewable energyDefinition
Solar energyProduces electricity through the sun.
Wind powerProduces electricity through the force of the wind.
Hydraulic energyIt uses the force of water in its course to produce electrical energy.
BiomassIt produces energy in a thermal power plant by burning organic waste of animal and plant origin.
BiogasProduced by biodegrading organic matter in specific devices without oxygen, generating a combustible gas.
Sea energyProduces energy using the force of the tides or waves.
Geothermal energyIt produces energy by taking advantage of the high temperatures of the reservoirs under the earth’s surface for the production of energy through heat.

What are renewable energies?

The renewable energies are those energies which are obtained from natural sources that generate energy in the form indefinite and inexhaustible . They generate a low environmental impact, since in addition to not using exhaustible resources, they do not generate pollutants. Renewable energies are also known as alternative energies or green energies.

One of the main advantages of this type of energy is that in addition to being inexhaustible, it does not generate a negative impact on the environment and for this reason they are considered clean energies .

The renewable energies are a reality that is present in our society and the benefits it brings on the environment are very evident. All societies consume energy, either to a lesser or greater extent, but unfortunately most of the energy consumed derives from non-renewable sources, such as fossil fuels or nuclear energy, which have a negative impact on the environment.

Another aspect of renewable energy to highlight is that it can be exploited at the local level, which implies that it helps reduce the dependence of populations on large energy producers, thus collaborating with economic development and the generation of energy. job.

The renewable energy sources are clean, inexhaustible and increasingly competitive energy. They differ from fossil fuels or non-renewable energies mainly because of their diversity, their abundance and their potential for use anywhere on the planet, but mainly because they do not generate greenhouse gases (which are the cause of climate change), or emissions. pollutants. Another point in favor is its costs that evolve steadily downwards, while the cost trend of fossil fuels is the opposite.

Characteristics of renewable energies

There are different sources of renewable energy and all are characterized by the following:

-Its use generates a very low impact on the environment since no waste is generated.

-They are unlimited sources of energy , for this reason they are also known as inexhaustible energy sources, since they are not depleted with their consumption.

-They are indigenous energy sources .

Types of renewable energies

Energy can be obtained in various ways and for this reason there are different types of renewable energy . In nature you can find a great variety of sources that are inexhaustible and from which energy can be extracted. Next we will know the main types of renewable energy.

Solar energy

The solar energy is what we get from the sun through solar panels that are responsible for absorbing solar radiation and transform it into electricity that can be stored or dumped into the mains. Another alternative to solar energy is thermoelectric solar energy, which is what uses solar radiation to heat a certain fluid until it vaporizes and drives a turbine that produces electricity.

Photovoltaic solar cells convert sunlight into electricity through the well-known photoelectric effect, for this it is necessary to have certain materials that are capable of absorbing photons (light particles) and releasing electrons, thus generating an electric current.

Wind power

Wind energy is one that produces electricity through the force of the wind, that is, kinetic energy is produced through air currents and it is used for various human activities. The windmills found in wind farms are connected to electricity generators that convert the wind into electrical energy by rotating their blades.

The main element of this system is the wind turbine, which generates this energy from the movement of the air into electrical energy that is then transmitted to the electrical network.

This type of energy has been used since ancient times to move ships that were powered by sails and also mill machines (which were in charge of grinding grains). Today wind energy is used mainly to generate electrical energy through self-generators.

Hydraulic energy

Hydraulic energy or also called hydroelectric power is another of the best known renewable energies and it is one that uses the force of water in its course to produce electrical energy. Hydraulic energy is highly efficient since it does not take a lot of space to be able to obtain large amounts of energy.


Biomass is one of the most economical and ecological alternative energies. It is one that produces energy in a thermal power plant and consists of the combustion of organic waste of animal and plant origin. With certain products that are biodegradable, such as sawdust, bark and everything that can go to the famous “brown container”, a fuel can be pressed to ignite the fire, the coal being replaceable by this product and it can be used for generation of energy in a renewable way.

When biomass is processed for energy use it is converted into biofuels. Some examples of products are:

-Solids: chips, crushed and pressed wood.

-Liquids: biodiesel, bioethanol

-Gaseous: biogas.

The energy content of biomass can be used in different transformation processes to produce thermal energy or heat, electricity or mechanical energy.


Biogas is a renewable energy that is produced by biodegrading organic matter, by means of microorganisms, in specific devices without oxygen, thus generating a combustible gas that is used to produce electrical energy.

Sea energy

The energy of the sea, better known as tidal or wave energy, is that which takes advantage of the force of the tides or waves to generate electrical energy. The way to generate this energy is through the use of alternators that produce it. These alternators are connected to a plant on the ground that is responsible for distributing said energy to the community and industries.

It is considered a clean and renewable energy, since it does not consume gases or fossil elements.

Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is that which is generated in the heart of the earth, taking advantage of the high temperatures of the reservoirs under the earth’s surface for the production of energy through heat. In the deep layers of the earth are the phreatic layers in which the water is heated, which then rises generating manifestations on the surface.

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