Renewable Energy Types: Solar, Wind, Hydro, Biomass
Updated: Jun 15, 2021
From an eternally burning sun to ever-flowing tides, renewable energy takes form through many mediums.
In this blog post, we are outlining some of the most common forms of renewable energy - solar, wind, biomass, and hydro. Wind and solar in particular have seen their $/MW cost decrease drastically over the last few decades. There are also less well-known types such as geothermal and tidal.
Renewable Energy Type 1: Solar
Typically, solar projects are split between ground-mounts or rooftop. Each has unique advantages: ground-mounted panels can be easily shifted to face any direction, having higher efficiency than a rooftop mount that is mounted on a rooftop without a south-facing pitch. However, ground-mounts also tend to be more expensive both in terms of physically installing mounts to be placed on, as well as securing appropriate land. Rooftop mounts can be placed on existing properties and would not require physical mounts to be installed.
Renewable Energy Type 2: Wind
Wind turbines have slowly become wider, taller, and more efficient throughout the decades. More recently, projects being installed along coastlines are becoming more popular and appropriate for specific countries as well. Countries like South Korea with high population densities and high cost of land especially appreciate the use of offshore wind – as they not only enjoy the improved efficiency of higher wind speeds along coastlines, they also avoid producing noise pollution if built on land.
Renewable Energy Type 3: Hydro
Hydro is another reliable source of renewable energy. Certain countries like Russia primarily use Hydro over other types of energy. However, unlike solar and wind, there is a risk of polluting marine reservoirs. More recently, climate change has become a specific risk to hydroelectricity facilities as well, as smaller rivers and lakes dry up, rendering existing hydro facilities built upon them useless.
Renewable Energy Type 4: Biomass
In countries like Germany, this type of renewable energy source is especially popular, as it not only is an alternative to landfills, it is also a direct compliment to local farmland, helping local farmers reduce their waste and even, in some cases, paying for waste from farmlands.
Unlike wind, solar, and hydro, where seasonality can change output, biomass is relatively much more reliable and will continue to produce stable amounts of electricity given sufficient inputs.
At RE Royalties, we work with renewable energy project developers to help them get their projects off the ground faster through innovative finance solutions.