Renewables & Their Massive Presence In Canada
Renewable energy is a concept we’ve heard a lot about, so, what is renewable energy? It is energy that is generated using natural resources, such as water, wind, sunlight, and multiple forms of biomass. In general, it is a clean way to produce energy using natural processes. Renewable energy sources currently provide about 19% of Canada's total primary energy supply. Here, we’ll discuss some of the renewable energy options.
There are many different types of renewable energy and ways to produce it, one of which is hydroelectricity. The flow of water is an excellent and efficient source of energy production. To produce energy using water flow, the water is directed at the blades of a turbine, which makes it spin. This, in turn, forces the electrical generator that is attached to the turbine to generate electricity.
Hydroelectric stations are strategically placed in areas where the flow of water is fast and efficient, examples being areas where a river is on an incline or at a waterfall. Dams are made both to regulate water flow and to generate hydroelectricity. Hydroelectricity counts for almost 60% of Canada’s total electricity generation and is Canada’s number one source of renewable energy.
Another source of renewable energy is bio-energy. Bio-energy is energy produced using specific biological sources and/or their bio-products. These biological sources used to produce renewable energy are called biomass. In other words, biomass is a plant-based organism that can be converted into bio-fuel (fuel made from biological sources).
There are several types of biomass, but the most commonly used form of biomass is wood. This includes everything from sawdust, to wood chips, bark, and logs. The wood is burned to produce heat for industrial purposes and the general heating of buildings and water. It is also used to make steam for electricity generation. Also, methane can be produced using a process called anaerobic digestion. This process can produce methane gas using solid landfill waste, manure, sewage, and/or agricultural waste. There are other technologies and natural resources that can be used to create bio-energy, but the ones mentioned are the most important for Canada.
Now, we dive into wind power. Energy can be generated using wind with a wind farm. A wind farm is a group of wind turbines placed strategically, where the wind blows fast and efficiently. The force and speed of the wind push and spins the propellers on the turbine to turn the generator which produces clean energy that can be converted into electricity and used in the power grid. The heads of these turbines can rotate always to face the wind, providing the most energy possible.
The last form of renewable energy I will discuss in this blog is solar energy. Solar energy is harvested from the radiant energy of sunlight to heat buildings, water, and generate electricity. These days, there are two popular technologies used to collect energy from the sun. Number one, solar collectors and panels, these are used to heat water and ventilation air for buildings. Number two, solar photo-voltaic, this technology converts sunlight directly into electricity.
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