Renewable energy resources producing electricity
Renewable energy resources can be simply defined as those resources that can be replaced in a lifetime. That rules out coal, gas and nuclear energy but because wood and other biofuels can be grown over a few years, they are included.
When considering the usefulness of an energy resource cost is usually the major factor. The total cost depends on the up-front investment and the running cost as well as the cost of transmitting or transporting the energy. Social and environmental questions, security and reliability and safety are other crucial factors.
The notes below begin with a summary of some of the major advantages and disadvantaged of different energy resources and the ways we can measure these. There follows seven further sheets of notes, one each upon wind, solar, tidal, hydroelectric, biomass, wave energy and geothermal.
In each case the process of harnessing the energy is described and the advantages and disadvantages of each are listed and explained.