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What is renewable energy?

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What is renewable energy?

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Renewable energy is any energy that is self-replenishing. Examples are wind, solar or geothermal energy.

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Renewable energy comes from sources that are constantly being naturally renewed. Direct forms of renewable energy are wind, solar, hydropower, tides and geothermal. Indirect forms of renewable energy are biomass, biogas and hydrogen, which rely on solar energy and photosynthesis to complete their cycle.

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Solar energy is a renewable energy source. Renewable energy resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal and tidal, are constantly replenished and will never run out. In contrast, fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas are nonrenewable, that is, they are limited in quantity and will become more difficult and expensive to recover.

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Renewable energy is energy generated from sources that cannot be depleted or can be replaced such as wind power, solar, mini-hydro and biomass. Renewable sources such as these will always be available and are essentially non-polluting. Greenchoice is independently assessed by the National GreenPower Accreditation Program to ensure our renewable energy purchases are acceptable. GreenPower is an initiative of the ACT, NSW, SA, QLD VIC and WA government agencies to guarantee that the renewable electricity you buy from energy suppliers meets stringent environmental standards. Suitable green energy sources include: • wind farms – wind turbines • solar farms – photovoltaic (PV) cells • small hydro – not involving the flooding of ecosystems or the construction of new dams • biomass – using landfill gas and agricultural industry wastes (for example, bagasse) • solar thermal.

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Renewable energy is the term used to describe energy flows that occur naturally and continuously in the environment, such as energy from the wind, waves or tides. The origin of the majority of these sources can be traced back to either the sun (energy from the sun helps to drive the earths weather patterns) or the gravitational effects of the sun and the moon. This means that these sources are essentially inexhaustible. The key issue is how to extract this energy as effectively as possible and convert it into more useful forms of energy. This can range from directly using the energy from the sun to heat water to using mechanical devices, such as wind turbines, to convert the kinetic energy in the wind into electrical energy.

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