Renewable energies are energy sources that do not run out, because they regenerate. Some countries generate all their energy by harnessing these types of energy and many others have this goal. There are several sources of renewable energy: hydroelectric energy is a source of clean and renewable energy derived from the power of water. The water flow of a lake, a river or an artificial basin, suitably conveyed through special pipes, can transform its force into pressure and kinetic energy. This energy powers a generator which converts it into electricity. Hydropower plants have a very long lifespan, some are over 100 years old.

Geothermal energy is obtained from energy sources generated by means of geological sources that have a high temperature and is considered a form of renewable energy. Geothermal systems can be used for the production of electricity, or directly for heating, cooling of buildings and production of hot water. The systems can be of 2 types: with vertical probe, where the pipes are inserted vertically into the ground up to a depth of 150 m for the withdrawal of heat from the subsoil; with horizontal probe where the pipes are inserted horizontally into the ground and play the same role as the previous ones. The only change is in the size of subsoil occupied. Geothermal power plants operate 24 hours a day. However, geothermal energy is only exploited in limited areas of the world.

Solar energy has many advantages because it is inexhaustible, immediately available and it is clean because it comes to us from the sun’s rays. Solar energy is the primary form of energy on the planet.

Solar energy can be exploited in two ways: to heat fluids using thermal energy or to generate electricity using the electromagnetic effect. In recent years, the technological advances of photovoltaic and thermal systems have reached remarkable levels. Also for this reason, more and more roofs in built-up areas are equipped with photovoltaic and thermal panels, thanks to their increasing efficiency.

Another source of clean energy is wind energy. Wind energy is the energy of the wind, that is, the kinetic energy of a moving mass of air. It is an alternative source of energy to that produced by the combustion of fossil fuels, renewable and in support of the economy, clean, which produces no emissions of any type of greenhouse gases during operation and requires a large surface of land. The effects on the environment are usually less problematic than those coming from other energy sources and it is possible to exploit it thanks to the use of wind turbines that produce electricity, wind pumps for moving water, through windmills that produce mechanical energy for grind cereals or other materials or sails for the movement of air or water vehicles (hang gliding, sailing boats, windsurfing, etc.)

In addition to these, which are the main sources of renewable energy, there are many others. These types of energies are still underdeveloped, but more and more countries are using them and it is hoped that by 2050 most of the world will get energy from these sources.

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Francesco D’Auria


II A – Furci Siculo

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