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Types of Clean Energy

3 min. reading
Clean energies, New Gen, Renewable energy / 30 August, 2021

Karla García Gil Journalist

Its origin from renewable sources and their environmental friendliness make clean energies an alternative for electricity generation. These types of technologies are growing by leaps and bounds and are part of the actions taken by countries to reduce the CO2 emissions that fossil energies have been emitting for so many years.

Clean energies are essential in the fight against climate change, because their production does not generate greenhouse gases as fossil fuels do and because, in addition, they come from inexhaustible sources, not in vain they are also known as renewable energies. 

According to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) in the Renewables 2020 report, during 2019, renewable electricity generation increased 6 percent. The share of such energies in global electricity generation reached almost 27% in the same year; however, renewable energy still needs to expand to meet zero-emission targets.

Clean energy and biofuels

  • Hydropower or hydroelectric power

This is the most popular clean energy and is obtained from rivers and freshwater streams. The efficiency of the whole process ranges between 90% and 95%, taking advantage of almost all the potential energy of the water.

  • Wind energy

This is a type of kinetic energy produced by air currents, which is converted into electricity through an electric generator.

  • Solar energy

It is the energy obtained from the sun and its main technologies are photovoltaic solar energy that takes advantage of natural light, as well as thermal solar energy that takes advantage of the sun’s heat. It is obtained by means of panels and mirrors for use in buildings and facilities or also for the production of electricity (solar thermoelectric).

  • Geothermal energy

It is the energy contained in the interior of the Earth, from which water and steam are obtained at very high pressure and temperature, which is why they are used to generate electricity. 

  • Wave and tidal energy

The first is a type of energy that refers to the use of energy from the movement of ocean waves, and is different from tidal energy, which is obtained from tides and ocean currents. Electricity generation is the main use of both; however, a different type of technology is used for each.

  • Biogas

It is a gas formed from the decomposition of organic matter (biomass) and used as a fuel source for industrial and residential use.

  • Bioethanol

Bioethanol is an organic fuel produced by fermentation of vegetable products and is suitable for automotive use.

  • Biodiesel

It is an organic fuel obtained from vegetable oils and is useful in energy generation and transportation.

Global outlook

Despite the economic uncertainty caused by SARS-CoV-2, investor interest in renewable energies continues to grow. According to the latest IEA report, from January to October 2020, auctioned renewable capacity was 15% higher than in the same period in 2019, which is a record increase.

It is estimated that clean energy will overtake fossil to become the largest source of global electricity generation by 2025. Hydropower will supply almost half of the world’s renewable electricity. 

In this regard, zero emission targets in strategic markets are expected to accelerate the expansion of clean energy. It is desirable that more nations join the commitments already made by the European Union and other countries on the continent, as well as some Asian economies such as Japan, South Korea and China.