Renewable resources are natural resources that are utilised at a slower rate than they are generated (renewable meaning that it can be used time and again).
These include living reserves such as fish and forests which could last for time immemorial provided they are not over-exploited. Other renewable resources include the wind, water and sun which all assist in generating clean energy, producing minuscule amounts of greenhouse gases once they are put into operation, if any at all, and is commonly referred to as being “clean”.
The challenge is finding ways to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions when dirty energy sources are used to make power and develop the clean energy industry so it supplies more and more of the energy we use.
Governments are exploring numerous ways to apply these renewable resources to meet the growing needs and demands of electricity.
An innovative method of using power without using fossil fuels such as coal is to use wind power, solar power, and hydroelectricity. Environmental organisations and many other institutions as well as individuals are supporting this form of power generation as it could solve a myriad problems, plus it is a considered to be a good source of clean energy.
South Africa boasts having some of the highest levels of sunshine in the world, and little has been done to make use of its power to generate electricity in the past.
This is beginning to change as in the future it is predicted that more than 2, 5 % of the world’s electricity needs will be provided for by solar energy by the year 2025.
Hydroelectricity, using water as a source of clean energy, is also in practice – a good example being The Three Gorges Dam in China which is the largest functioning hydroelectric power plant worldwide, boasting a reservoir of 600 km in length.