Business Research Method
What Is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is any source of energy that can be used without depleting its reserves. These sources include sun, wind, biomass and hydro energy. Each of these energy sources can be harnessed to varying degrees and at varying costs.
Renewable Energy is a natural energy which does not have a limited supply. Renewable Energy can be used again and again, and will never run out, which include Solar, Wind, Ocean, Hydropower, Biomass, Geothermal resources, Bio-fuels and hydrogen derived from renewable resources.
Characteristics of Renewable
Large, Inexhaustible source -Solar energy intercepted by earth 1.8 * 1011 MW
Clean Source of Energy
Dilute Source - Even in best regions 1kW/m and the total daily flux available is 7 kWh/m
Large Collection Areas, high costs
Availability varies with time
Need for Storage, Additional Cost
Need for Alternatives
Fossil fuel reserves are limited
India - 17 % of World population, has only 4% of primary energy
Present pattern - predominantly fossil based (87% common , 64% total)
52% of households are un electrified
Linkage between energy services and quality of life
Current Situation of Renewable Energy
In 2008, about 19% of global final energy consumption came from renewables, with 13% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.2% from hydroelectricity.
New renewables (small hydro, modern biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuels) accounted for another 2.7% and are growing very rapidly.
The share of renewables in electricity generation is around 18%, with 15% of global electricity coming from hydroelectricity and 3% from new renewables.
Wind power is growing at the rate of 30% annually, with a worldwide installed capacity of 158 gigawatts (GW) in 2009, and is widely used in Europe, Asia, and the United States.
At the end of 2009, cumulative global photovoltaic (PV) installations surpassed 21 GW and PV power stations are popular in Germany and Spain.
Solar thermal power stations operate in the USA and Spain, and the largest of these is the 354 megawatt (MW) SEGS power plant in the Mojave Desert.
The world's largest geothermal power installation is The Geysers in California, with a rated capacity of 750 MW.
Brazil has one of the largest renewable energy programs in the world, involving production of ethanol fuel from sugar cane, and ethanol now provides 18% of the country's automotive fuel. Ethanol fuel is also widely available in the USA.
Globally, an estimated 3 million households get power from small solar PV systems.
More than 30 million rural households get lighting and cooking from biogas made in household-scale digesters.
Biomass cook stoves are used by 160 million households.