Renewable Resources Examples
Renewable resources are energy sources that our planet and our living organisms use, but that can be recreated by natural processes once they're used up. In this case, the intentional planting of new trees, for example, would still be considered "renewable," even though human intervention made it possible. Some renewable resources take long periods of time to regenerate, like those trees, while others take literally no time, like sunlight or wind.
Global attention has been given to the need to switch to a greater dependence on renewable resources than our current practices of using sources like fossil fuels. Renewable resources are in theory unlimited, and most of the types that are in use are far less polluting than fossil fuels.
1. Man's Impact
There are renewable resources that humans regenerate with purposeful intent, meaning we actively take part in removing the resource from its setting, use it for energy production and consumption, then take steps to ensure that new sources of the resource take place. This would be the case for cutting down trees, using them to make paper, then replanting young saplings in their place. Unfortunately, many forested areas are cleared to use the wood, then developers pick up the empty land and put new construction on it instead of planting trees. This is counter-effective and does not support a renewable resource.
Farming is a different example, but still in line with the same concept. Farmers grow and harvest corn, that corn is used in ethanol and biofuel, then more corn is planted in its place. In this case, the farmer ensures that the corn crop is continued, so the corn is a renewable resource.
2. Nature's Turn at Renewable Energy
Renewable resources are also happening naturally all around us. Solar power, wind power, and hydroelectric power are all ways of harvesting natural phenomenon in order to generate electricity, for example. By allowing natural forces to do what it is they already do, such as waves crashing against the shore and turning underwater turbines out at sea, renewable resources are used with little human intervention. Wind farms are entire stretches of land where wind turbines harvest the power of winds that tear through the region on their own.
3. Combinations of Renewable Resouces
Tidal turbines are basically the same structure as a wind turbine that turns above ground, only this time it's planted under the ocean. Tidal turbines are relying on two naturally renewable resources to function: water and the moon. The moon's gravitational pull on the Earth's oceans causes tides to form, and they're fairly predictable. By moving waves past the underwater turbine, the water spins the blades and the blades are connected to a generator that is connected to the electrical grid. Both of those forces work together to generate electricity.
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