Renewable Energy Definition

Want a good renewable energy definition? It's simply energy that comes from sources that do not deplete Earth's natural resources nor harm the environment. For instance, solar power, wind power, and hydro power are three popular examples of a renewable energy source.

Other renewable alternatives to fossil fuels are geothermal and biomass. So, how do they differ from other "alternative" sources? Read further for the surprising answer.

Learn Why Alternative Is Not Always Renewable

Renewable Energy IllustrationSolar, Wind, and Geothermal Renewable Energy
(Source: ©Slavomir Valigursky/

While the terms "renewable" and "alternative" are often used interchangeably, there is a subtle yet very important difference between the two. Clean renewable energy is provided by abundant, natural sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, and biomass. Solar, wind, and geothermal are the most used in today's homes.

So What Is Alternative Energy?

"Alternative energy," however, simply refers to ANY alternative from fossil fuels.

Sources of alternative energy can include bio fuels, nuclear power, so-called "clean coal" (an oxymoron) and other sources that do not offer a "clean" alternative.

The point is not all sources of alternative energy are clean or renewable.

For instance, is nuclear renewable?

While nuclear energy doesn't deplete our natural resources in the same manner as oil, its byproducts are expensive to dispose of and do cause harm to the environment. So, while some might class nuclear power as a renewable source, others would argue that it doesn't quite fit the renewable energy definition. However, advancements have been made in the nuclear industry, so the jury is still out.

Why Renewable Energy Is the Answer

With the cost of gas and home heating fuels rapidly rising, we need to explore affordable energy sources that fit the renewable energy definition. Not only to save money, but also to protect our environment and to preserve our future way of life. Most people now realize that our dependency on non renewable fossil fuels presents a major problem. It makes no sense to rely on a resource that is steadily running out.

The facts are available for those willing to listen. In a revealing interview with George Monbiot, a British reporter for the Guardian newspaper, Dr. Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency (IEA), warned that the world's oil production is likely to peak before 2020.

Published IEA data reveals that the decline in oil production in existing oil fields now runs at 6.7% per year. The year 2020 is not far off folks. The energy clock is loudly ticking.

It follows that global sources of other fossil fuels like coal and natural gas are also being depleted in the industrial world's insatiable appetite for Earth's natural resources.

We MUST prepare and seek clean sources of renewable energy before our utility costs become unaffordable and conventional sources run dry. Green renewable energy offers homeowners the best solution.

Green Energy Is Where It's At

Many companies are now exploring renewable energy and finding ways that they can harness it and bring it directly to your home in an efficient, reliable, and affordable method. For instance, if you live in Ontario, Canada, you can supplement your electric bills by taking advantage of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) microFIT program. Check to see whether similar Feed-in Tariff (FIT) programs are offered in your area.

Some communities are committed to using clean energy now, and their residents might not even realize it. For instance, my hometown of Peterborough (Ontario) is taking steps to increase its hydro electric power generation along the Otonabee River that flows through the city. The city has also installed a 10 MW solar farm to provide the electrical needs for 1,500 homes. A display of responsible foresight and good future planning.

So, What's a Good Renewable Energy Definition?

For you and I... "It's our future," and it's Green!

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