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Renewable Energy Can Support Our Life

This is the photograph of traditional windmills in the Netherlands. Dutch people used them to pump water from wetland over dikes and into rivers. When a wet- or swampy land has been transformed into dry land, it can be used for farming or for building housings, business and office buildings for people. Windmills were also used to grind grains, and to drive sawmills. According to holland dot com, there are more than 1,000 windmills in the country. As cultural heritage of Dutch people, windmills have now become tourist attractions. People make them as museums, or restaurants.
Windmills in Holland to pump water for drying wetlands.
Windmills
Today giant wind turbines are being installed on land and at sea to generate electricity not only in the Netherlands but also in Europe and throughout the world.
Although wind turbines for electricity generation bring a lot of positive impacts to our life and environment, they also bring some negative impacts. Every year thousands of birds, and bats are killed by the giant blades of the wind turbines. To minimize this negative impact, engineers need to study the migration routes of birds so that wind farm will not be built inside the routes. Wind farm occupies huge area of land and generates noisy sounds. As a solution, developed countries in Europe build wind farm at sea.
Offshore wind farm in the Netherlands
Offshore Windfarm
In addition to wind energy, we have got solar energy. As a matter of fact, all of our energies come from solar power. This important natural capital can be turned into electricity mainly by two method, i.e. photovoltaic and concentrated solar power. Because the sun is not available on every place for 24 hours, the electricity that it generates has to be stored for night uses. This can be done by using batteries. It will not be effective if the electrical energy that has to be stored is for a big city with a population of several million people. So, a back-up electrical generator powered by diesel engine is a more affordable solution. Another alternative is to save the excess energy that is created during the day in the form of potential energy. Water from a river or a beach can be pumped to a huge dam in much higher elevation area. At night the water is released into the river or the sea again. When it flows down, because of gravity, its kinetic energy can be converted into electricity using water turbine. This scheme of storing energy in higher elevation water dam is expensive but safe for the environment compared to the use of batteries. Hybrid powerplant is also a good solution where wind and photovoltaic powerplant are combined.
Today, most of our home appliances are powered by electricity. The number of electrical vehicles rises every year. If we use renewable energy, we can continue to supply electricity to our modern society and at the same time reduce our emission of CO2 gases.
Wind power, together with solar power, hydropower (from potential energy), Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, sea tides/ current, and geothermal power can be used as renewable energy resources to support our life. - written by Charles Roring

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