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The Green Energy Revolution: A Look at Innovative Renewable Energy Initiatives

What is climate change?

Climate change explains the long-term changes in temperature and weather patterns. Variations in the solar system cause some of these shifts to be natural. However, since the 1800s, activities carried out by humans have been the main factor in climate change due to the burning of fossil fuels, such as gas, coal and oil. This process emits greenhouse gases, and these gases create a blanket around earth, which traps the heat from the sun and therefore raises temperatures.

Some examples of greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide and methane. These can come from the gasoline used to run cars or coal used to heat buildings. Cattle on farms produce methane and this is another example. Deforestation gives a significant carbon dioxide release and is one of the main contributors to climate change.

Emissions continue to rise globally. Therefore, Earth is now around 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer than it was in the late 1800s. Consequences of climate change can include droughts, storms, fires, rising sea levels, melting ice caps and declining biodiversity.

People experience climate change in different ways. It can affect people's ability to grow food, their health, safety, housing and work. Some people are affected more by the impacts of climate change, such as those who live on smaller islands and developing countries. Saltwater intrusion and rising sea levels have advanced so much that communities are having to move away from their homes and the number of climate refugees is expected to rise in the future.

What type of innovative renewable energy methods are used to combat climate change?

Renewable energy is usually high on the list when it comes to combating climate change. This is because it does not emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, which are the key contributors to climate change. Renewables have much more purpose than just stopping climate change. It is a growing sector and therefore it is creating jobs, widening energy access in less developed countries, helping lower energy bills and can make grids more resilient.

Hydropower is a type of renewable energy. This involves using dams to control water flow. It is the world's biggest source of renewable energy, with Brazil, China, Canada, USA and Russia being the leaders in this industry. Even though this reduces the amount of greenhouse gases being emitted, it does have some drawbacks such as damaging ecosystems and surrounding communities.

Wind power is also another type of renewable energy. Wind power is the main producer of renewable electricity in the US and UK. Offshore and onshore wind farms produce electricity by the blades of the wind turbines spinning. The turbines take the kinetic energy and convert it into electric energy by turning a drive shaft and gearbox, which is connected to a generator. This electricity is then converted into higher voltages and sent to the national grid. It does have some drawbacks though as it can be costly and can ruin scenery.

Solar is also a useful renewable energy source. Sunlight is a very accessible and free resource, but location can determine how much sunlight an area gets. Solar power produces electricity by gathering sunlight on solar panels. It comes with several advantages which include local wealth creation, helping fight climate change and little maintenance is required. However, the cost of solar is high and it does depend on the weather so it can be unreliable.

Finally, there is bioenergy. Electricity can be produced when organic matter is burned as a fuel source. These fuels are known as biomass and can include food waste, plants and timber. Carbon dioxide is produced and emitted in this process, but it is considered renewable as they can be regrown and absorb as much carbon dioxide as they emitted. Therefore, it is carbon neutral. Advantages of this can include job creation and helping fight climate change. However, a lot of space is required for this method, and it can be expensive to gather, transport and store.

In conclusion, climate change is a problem and one that needs to be addressed quickly in order to keep our planet healthy. The droughts, storms and many other harmful things that climate change causes are devastating and further adds to why climate change needs combatting. Renewables are clearly a great way to help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases being produced. Wind power, bioenergy, solar energy and hydropower are all innovative ways of combatting climate change and have further benefits such as job creation. Therefore, more people and organisations should be investing in these methods to help contribute combatting climate change. However, these renewable energy methods do have some drawbacks such as high costs and can damage communities and ecosystems.


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