Renewable Energy: Alternative Source of Power Generation

Alternative Source of Power Generation

Any renewable and nuclear energy sources are considered alternative energy, as are all energy sources other than fossil fuels including coal, oil, and diesel. Nuclear energy is not considered a renewable energy source even if it is less harmful to the environment than fossil fuels since nuclear material cannot be replenished in a human lifetime. Elements like uranium and thorium, which have a limited supply and cannot be renewed, are used to produce nuclear energy.

There is a dire need for top scientists and engineers to explore alternative sources of power generation. Some of the best engineering colleges in Nashik offer M.Tech in Environmental Engineering to train individuals who can dedicate their expertise towards discovering or inventing renewable sources of energy. Let us take a look at the types of alternative energy, and their impact on the environment:

What categories of alternative energy exist?

Remarkably diverse alternative energy sources exist; some are well-known, while others are much unknown. They are listed in the following order:

1. Wind energy: This is one of the most accessible and environmentally friendly energy sources. As a byproduct, wind energy emits no carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It is also entirely renewable because wind will always exist. Energy sources, like fossil fuels, have variable costs.

2. Solar energy: It’s probably the most well-known alternative energy source, and for good reason. You may recover the installation costs of solar energy—which is totally renewable—by saving money on electricity bills. The sole potential disadvantage of solar panels is their susceptibility to deterioration over time and partial weather professions in countries with erratic weather patterns.

3. Nuclear energy: The energy contained in an atom’s core is released through fission. This is employed in a power plant where the quantity of energy produced is managed by nuclear material rods. The more rods there are in the chain reaction, the slower and more controlled it will go. If the rods are taken out, a stronger chain reaction and more power will be generated. The question of whether nuclear energy counts as renewable energy is still up for debate.

4. Hydropower: Hydropower is the process of harnessing the energy of water flowing from higher to lower heights. Reservoirs and rivers may produce it. Reservoir hydropower plants rely on water that has been stored in a reservoir, whereas run-of-river hydropower facilities use the energy from the river’s available flow. Hydropower reservoirs are widely utilised for a number of applications, such as the generation of electricity, the provision of drinking water, irrigation water, navigational services, and the mitigation of floods and droughts.

5. Hydrogen gas: A major player in the global fuel market, hydrogen gas serves as both an essential energy source and a potential replacement for clean energy. Regrettably, fossil fuels continue to be a significant source of hydrogen gas generation, putting the environment at risk. It is envisaged that organic, biodegradable waste would eventually be converted into biohydrogen, an energy

6. Biomass energy: This energy comes in several forms. Biomass energy includes everything from burning wood to burning trash, which is already done in several countries. Burning wood is a common way to use biomass to provide heat that is similar to a central heating system at a cost that is usually less than that of a home or business that uses fossil fuels.

7. Bio-fuels: Bio-fuels and biomass are comparatively similar, notwithstanding the fact that they both rely on biological matter—plant and animal—to generate energy. Plants can always be grown, thus the bio-fuel made from them is an endless supply. Even though bio-fuels don’t increase emissions on their own, extracting them does need specialised equipment, which could inadvertently result in increased emissions. In 2020, bio-fuels accounted for about 5% of the energy consumed by the US transportation industry.

What are the factors responsible?

1. Renewable Energy’s competitiveness and growth: On a levelised cost basis renewable energy is now competitive with coal and its cost will continue to fall. Storage technology will be available in a few years, allowing Renewable Energy to complete outside of sunlight hours all year. On the other side, coal generation costs are expected to rise.

2. The system has technical losses: Investment and policies aimed at minimising technical losses are already in place, with losses expected to drop by about a third by 2030 with proper uses of different forms of renewable energy, further decreasing generation demand.

3. End-use electricity consumption is growing due to the structure of economic expansion and energy efficiency: Even with substantial growth in manufacturing, the statement’s rigorous bottom-up study reveals that future (2015-30) will remain around 6.2 percent, down from a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 7% between 2000 and 2015.

What are other responsible factors?

1. Cleaner energy: With 9 of the 10 most polluted cities, metropolitan urban air is largely unsafe throughout the year. Coal has its role to play, & impact on the use of renewable energy.

2. Energy Safety: The difficulties in getting fuel supply agreements as well as whether these contracts are honored in terms of availability and fuel quality, are well recognised in the sector. As a result of the heightened focus on energy security (import reduction) as a result of exchange rate uncertainty and rising imports, facilities that would find it cost-effective to import are limited due to domestic fuel shortages or a long distance from the nearest source.

3. Flexible Power: Due to the large existing under-utilised capacity, coal is increasingly being looked to assist manage variability by cycling, as renewable energy becomes a must-run resource. This is far from ideal-cycling, raises expenses, causes inefficient consumption, and shortens the life of plants.

4. Preference for the cheaper option: To meet India’s developmental needs, the foregoing demands go hand in hand with the necessity for cost-effective thermal electricity. As we get closer to a net electricity surplus, authorities are shifting their focus from adding additional capacity to picking between several options. To that end, the CERC (Central Electricity Regulatory Commission) is looking into market frameworks for effective dispatch in order to reduce expenses to the genuine cost of electricity. In this approach, Renewable Energy sources play a very important role in reducing electricity cost.


These are some of the different kinds of renewable energy sources that we can explore for the betterment of our environment around the world. It is the need of the hour to explore such alternative energy sources to ensure that future generations have a clean and healthy environment to live in.

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