Is Energy Truly Renewable?

When you start looking into going green it is usual to start looking into the various methods you can use to start reducing your carbon footprint and to generally be more environmentally friendly in your every day life. A large aspect of this going green is looking for ways to reduce your energy consumption – using energy damages the environment in various ways as a result of using up our finite resources and because of the greenhouse gasses that fossil fuels release into the atmosphere. And in turn one of the best ways to reduce your use of fossil fuels and to shrink your carbon footprint – is to switch to a range of renewable energy sources and that means such things as wind energy, solar energy and hydroenergy.

However there is some speculation among scientific communities that perhaps some of these undeniably green energy sources may not necessarily be completely renewable in the strictest sense. For an alternative energy source to be truly renewable that should mean that there is no risk of your using it up – that it is endless and will continue to be used by the ecosystem once you have tapped into it. Solar energy means going green because you can use as much as you want but it will still continue to be there. Likewise wind energy doesn’t run out and so theoretically it should not damage the environment if you use it up.

The problem is that although you can not use up wind energy, what you can do is to alter the effect it has on the rest of the environment. For instance to harvest wind energy wind turbines are used in order to transfer that kinetic wind energy into electricity (the wind drives the blades, cogs increase the speed of rotation and electromagnetic inductance turns this into current). The wind will continue to come, but it does mean that that wind will not go on to do such things as carry seeds from plants, or affect the temperatures elsewhere. In other words the force of the wind behind the turbines is far less.

Likewise if you have solar panels that means heat and light that won’t reach the floor. This will decrease (very marginally) the temperature of the ground and the Earth deep beneath the crust and it will mean no plants or grass can grow beneath that. Damns of course have the effect of preventing that tidal energy from continuing having blocked it, while geothermal energy eventually cools down the ground below meaning it can no longer provide the heat. Using biofuel meanwhile means that lots of natural resources are used up in growing the plants and it can take a long time to grow more fuel.

All of these changes are marginal and this is of course still a good way of going green. This is merely a consideration and shows that going green green in energy consumption is not a simple matter of setting up lots of wind farms. At the very least the locations have to be considered carefully as do the long term implications.


  1. I have never looked at it like this. But it really does make lots of sense how it was described in the article. Every little thing we do today has an impact. The impact may not be that big but if we keep doing what we are doing then our Earth is not going to last that long!

  2. We can all help make our Earth a better place. Yes Angie every little thing does help. I have made several small changes in my life that do not seem like much. But once you add up everything I do, it makes a big impact.

  3. Seems like there is a negative to everything. Like how plants will not grow under the solar panels. But we must give some to get ahead. We could just plant some plants elsewhere.

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