Seven curiosities about renewable energies

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From the volcano to the toaster

7 curiosities about renewable energies

  • Sun

    With every passing hour, the sun emits enough energy to meet the energy needs of the entire world for a whole year.

    Sunlight is captured and converted into electricity through photovoltaic panels, having a number of applications: heating, lighting or, curiously enough, cooling systems.

  • Wind

    The world's largest wind turbine is in Hawaii? Its height is higher than a 20-story building and the turbine blades have the wingspan of a football field!

    The force of the wind is captured by the large blades of wind turbines. Their movement generates energy which in turn is transformed into the electricity we use every day.

  • Rivers

    In the year 200AC, therefore, more than 2000 years ago, populations in China and the Middle East were already using mills to pump water into daily life.

    Water is stored in dams that, when discharged, move turbines at high speed. Like wind power, the movement of these turbines generates energy that is converted into electricity.

  • Hydrogen

    Hydrogen combustion can be used to move vehicles, such as NASA spaceships, and releases water vapor instead of polluting gases.

    Hydrogen is the simplest element in the universe, and also the most abundant, but it does not exist in isolation on our Planet. Therefore, it has to be produced (from algae and bacteria), or collected (in gasoline, natural gas, water, etc.) to be able to be used as fuel.

  • Earth Heat

    Geothermal energy has been used for thousands of years. Hot springs were used in the Paleolithic age for cooking and, much more recently, by the Romans, for bathing.

    Geothermal energy is produced in power plants that pick up the heat that is on or inside the Earth and transform it into electricity.

  • Oceans

    The waves of Nazaré are not just for surfing... the first World Park for the production of electricity from the waves was inaugurated in Portugal in Póvoa de Varzim.

    Oceans produce thermal and mechanical energy. Thermal energy is based on systems that use the temperature difference between the deep (cooler) waters and (hotter) ocean surfaces to make a motor move and produce electricity. The mechanical energy is collected from the movement of the tides (from the high tide to the low tide and vice versa) and from the movement of the waves. The higher the tides and the waves, the more energy you collect.

  • Organic matter

    This energy can be 100% clean because the CO2 produced by the combustion of plants is compensated by the absorption of the same amount of CO2 by the plants during photosynthesis.

    There are several ways of generating electricity from biomass, from the combustion of organic matter (from animals and plants), to the capture of gases produced by decomposition.