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WHAT ARE RENEWABLE ENERGIES?
Over the past few years much has been said about renewable energy, but do we know what it is? Renewable energy sources are all those that come from inexhaustible resources or that can be restored in the short or medium term, either naturally or by human intervention.
There are many examples of renewable energy sources, but in this article, we will focus on just three: Hydropower, Wind Energy, and Solar Energy.
Hydropower or hydraulic energy is the energy obtained from the potential energy of a body of water. Hydroelectric production can be divided into two types, those that store water in reservoirs and those that do not, called run-of-river plants since they take advantage of the natural flow of the river.
Hydropower generation is mainly done through hydroelectric plants, which are associated with dams of large or medium capacity, which dam the water of the rivers, constituting a water reservoir, occasionally interrupting the flow of water. This is one of the most used ways to produce energy worldwide, representing about 30% of the electricity consumed in Portugal.
Wind Energy is the transformation of wind energy into useful energy. As such, wind energy is renewable, clean, and is an alternative to fossil fuels, being permanently available in any region of the world. The energy of the wind is transformed into electrical energy by means of equipment called a wind turbine (or wind turbine), which includes propellers that move with the speed of the wind.
A concentration or cluster of wind turbines is called a wind farm, and these are used to produce electrical energy. There are two types of wind farms, onshore and offshore, onshore wind farms are located on land off the coast or in the interior. On the opposite, offshore wind farms are farms where the wind turbines are installed at sea.
According to data shared by APREN, currently, about 1/4 of the electricity consumed in Portugal has wind origin.
Solar energy is an alternative, renewable, and sustainable energy that works by using sunlight as the energy source and can be harnessed and used by different technologies that are constantly evolving, such as solar heating, photovoltaic solar energy, heliothermal energy, solar architecture, and artificial photosynthesis.
The concept of solar energy is usually associated with photovoltaics, which is the generation of electrical energy using sunlight as the energy source. In photovoltaic solar energy, when sunlight is captured by solar panels, electric current is transformed for use in homes, businesses, and industries.