What Is Renewable Energy?
As resources begin to run out, people are starting to turn to renewable energy sources. Renewable energy is produced by natural processes “that are replenished at a rate that is equal to or faster than the rate at which they are consumed” (Canada, 2017). Canada’s main reasons for energy consumption are population growth, economic growth, a lengthy winter season, great travel distances and an economy dependent on high-energy-consuming industries. (Dearden et al, 2020). Due to its great amount of space and its diverse territories, Canada has many resources available to be used towards producing renewable energy with “renewable energy resources currently providing 18.9 percent of Canada’s total primary energy supply.” (Canada, 2017)
Types of Renewable Energy
The different types of renewable energy can be categorized into hydro energy, bioenergy, wind energy, solar energy, geothermal energy, and ocean energy, with moving water being the most important renewable energy source in Canada.
The production of hydroelectricity involves “water flow [being] directed at the blades of a turbine, making it spin, which causes an electrical generator connected to the turbine to spin as well and thus generate electricity” (Canada, 2017).
The term bioenergy refers to different forms of usable energy obtained from biological materials in solid, liquid, or gaseous form that have stored light in the form of chemical energy, referred to as biomass.
Wind energy is one of the more visible forms of renewable energy and if you have traveled somewhere relatively rural in Canada, you might have come across large wind turbines that are used to generate electricity.
Similarly, solar energy is a well-known form of renewable energy to the general public, with many public and private establishments converting to solar energy using solar panels that harness heat from the sun.
Geothermal energy is “captured from the heat stored beneath the earth’s surface or from the absorbed heat in the atmosphere and oceans” (Canada, 2017).
And finally, the ocean is “a vast source of energy that can be harnessed to produce different forms of usable energy” (Canada, 2017). Ocean energy relies on technologies that have been developed, for example technology that converts the energy of ocean waves and tides into electricity.
Why Renewable Energy Is Important
According to an article published in Canada’s National Observer, “The world must take “radical action” by investing $5.7 trillion in private and public money each year through 2030 to shift away from fossil fuels and ensure the planetary warming they cause doesn’t pass dangerous thresholds, the International Renewable Energy Agency says.” (Jordans, 2022). Dedicating resources to the transition into renewable energy instead of fossil fuels is essential to meet climate goals, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stating that renewable energy “is the only true path to energy security” (Jordans, 2022).
Canada, N. (2017, December 13). Government of Canada. Retrieved from https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/energy-sources-distribution/renewables/about-renewable-energy/7295
Jordans, F. (2022, March 30). Radical shift to renewable energy worldwide needed to hit climate goals. Canada’s National Observer. Retrieved April 9, 2022, from https://www.nationalobserver.com/2022/03/30/news/radical-shift-renewable-energy-worldwide-needed-hit-climate-goals
- Sustainability On My Mind 2022-2023 Series - July 7, 2023
- Sustainability on My Mind Workshop Series – Green Cleaning Products - June 29, 2023
- Sustainability on My Mind Workshop Series – Tin Can Luminaries - June 15, 2023