Here we will try to introduce you to the renewable energy sources (RES) available today. RES refers to energy resources which are naturally replenished: wind, solar, hydro-power, biomass, geothermal energy, ocean energy.
The EUROSTAT’s definition of RES: Renewable energies cover hydro-power, wind energy, solar energy, biomass and wastes and geothermal energy. Renewable energies are the sum of hydro-power, wind energy, solar energy, biomass & wastes and geothermal energy.
Today, renewable energy is mainly produced and used domestically. Traditional biomass (for cooking and heating) is growing just slowly as it is used more efficiently or replaced by more modern energy sources, large hydro-power is growing slowly, new renewables (small hydro, modern biomass, wind, solar, geothermal and bio-fuel) are growing very rapidly.
Modern applications of renewable energy have grown steadily over the past three decades and the investment to developing renewable energy capacities in countries is growing rapidly, from $6 billion in 1995 to over $50 billion in 2008
The good news is that renewable resource potentials exceed today’s world energy consumption.
Renewable energy policies and promotions, as well as new targets already exist in more than 50 countries all over the world. Most of them are targeting the share of renewable energy in the electricity generation (typically 5 – 30 per cent). This is true for most developed countries. And as far as we can tell the most rapid changes can be seen in South-Eastern Asia and China.
The biggest problem in developing new RES policies and projects is the lack of a unified system, that would provide information on the know-how and statistics periodically and transparently. The are also copyright law issues and very significant differences in the definitions of RES stated by various organizations. The other interesting fact is that no matter how rapidly the investments to the sector increase, there is still not nearly enough funds to reach the average term goals for this type of resources.