Renewable Energy

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 Literature Review Renewable Energy



Renewable energy is derived from natural sources like sunlight, wind, geothermal heat, rain and tides and is inexhaustible (Hook, 55).  The 2007 OECD report shows that 19 percent of the global energy is derived from renewable energy sources.  Studies show that renewable energy is speedily and steadily taking over technologies such as electricity generation (Martinot, 28).  Currently, renewable energy constitutes a greater percentage of the global energy generation because wind, sunlight, geothermal heat, and water are used to generate electricity or power (IEA). Renewable energy is sufficient to meet the global energy demand if fully harnessed.  First, renewable energy can be sufficiently used in power generation for both domestic and industrial use.  Second, renewable energy can provide sufficient energy for transport fuel as this is another sector with increasing demand of energy. Third, renewable energy is a major source for heating water for domestic and industrial purposes.

The purpose of this literature review is to provide information about renewable energy in the context above.  The research will make use of data from academic journals, online information reporting on renewable energies, and books that discuss the subject.  Primary sources will be adequately used in order to discover the latest developments in renewable energy research.

Literature Review

The world focuses on further harnessing of renewable energy because of its ability to be replenished (Duchane and Brown, 13).  According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) 2006 report, 19 percent of the global energy is derived from renewable sources.  Renewable energy sources are derived from natural processes and are constantly replenished through natural processes.  These are energies harnessed from the sun, wind, water, tidal waves, biomass and geothermal sources (Martinot, 28).

Electricity and heat can be generated from wind, tides, solar, biomass, hydropower, biomass, and geothermal power, all of which are replenished (Duke and Brown, 13; Martinot, 27).  According to the OECD report published in 2007, renewable energies constitute 18 percent of the energy used in power or electricity generation.  Wind power is also shown to produce a reasonable amount of electric power in places where harnessed (Guo, 8).  Bio-fuels are shown to be reliable in the production of transport fuel.  The world always faces shortages in the oil industry and this problem can be amicably solved if ways of harnessing bio-fuels for transport are studied.  Solar can be used in heating water for use at home or hotels.  This provides a cheaper alternative to mechanically produced electricity (Klaassen and Riahi, 815).

Martinot (26) stipulates that renewable energy markets accelerate while renewable energy policies multiply around the world.  The purpose of Mariton’s (26) research is to show the importance of renewable energy in realization of environmental benefits.  Mariton’s article is an analysis of literature that has been obtained from primary reports on renewable energy such as the Renewables Global Status Report.  The article contributes greatly to this research by revealing the various kinds of renewable energy, their costs trends, extent of use, and their technological use in generation of power (Martinot, 34).  These are solar power, geothermal power, hydropower, and bio-fuel.  On the other hand, Martinot (28) believes that as much as renewable energy promise sufficiency in energy and that it is solution to the cornet environmental problems, the world still lags behind in policies and documentation that concern the use of renewable energy.

Ramachandra, et al. (207) agrees that energy plays a vital role in the human society.  The demand for energy is increasing at both domestic and industrial levels.  The purpose of the article is to explain the design and implementation of decision support system (DSS) that the authors believe would be of assistance in estimating the potentiality of solar energy as per the climatic zones in the world regions.  The rationale behind the study by Ramachandra, et al. (208) is that there is an increasing demand for energy use yet the depleting fossil fuel energy is not sufficient to meet this rising demand. The authors therefore stipulate that there is much potential in one of the renewable energy sources-solar energy-and thus there should be increased ways in which it can be tapped and used.  The study is also similar to that of Martinot (26) and Hook (54-56) through pointing out that the use of renewable energy will aid in sustaining the environment.  The problem of global warming as a result of carbon emission is a major issue in the global political agenda.

Maxwell (162) discusses the concept of renewable energy from a practical perspective in which architectural works consume 50 percent of energy for residential and non-residential buildings in the U.S alone.  Maxwell’s (162) article is useful in that it provides an outline in which energy use can be determined in other sectors.  If all the sectors are aware of the amount of energy use, then efforts to invest further in renewable energy will be enhanced (Ferrey, 68).

The importance of renewable energy in sustaining the environment is interestingly described by Agence France-Presse (433-434).  The article talks about a 6-square km Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates which exists entirely on renewable energy sources. The plan is to uses solar power for most of the energy provision because the sun is located in a sun-drenched region.  The air conditioners installed in buildings are also run on natural sources such as wind; water is tapped from a desalination plant while all the wastes are recycled.  The city is expected to have a population of around 50, 000 people.  This is an interesting perspective or renewable energy use as the use is integrated for an entire city whereas in the other articles, prevailing uses concern individual homes or work sectors.  This article is an eye-opener on the possibilities of renewable energy tapping and usage and it enhances the findings of the study by Ramachandra, et al. (209).  The studies show that further studies can focus in studying the climatic zones of the world and suggest the best kind on renewable energy that can be utilized in every particular region.

If renewable energy can be tapped to sufficiently meet the requirements of a whole town, then the renewable energy is surely set to transform human activities, as Aitken (1) argues. Most human activities require the use of energy and this is even advancing with modernization and technological advancement.  Man not only requires energy to generate electric power, but also to open doors, shift elevators, and provides thermoregulation in buildings.  With the increase and diversity of such activities, it is important to invest in energies that can be replenished (Kancs, 32).

Duchane and Brown (13-19) provide an overview of the world’s largest energy sources and energy resources used in energy generation.  The article reveals that non renewable sources are quickly depleting.  Fortunately, technology advancement has enhanced the perspective of energy generation.  Most industries near hot water bodies are developing geothermal plants that can harness steam and use it for the generation of geothermal power.  Geothermal power can be used in generation of power or electricity sources that are used in homes of in the industries.

From the studies, it is seen that renewable energy sources can be utilized in almost all aspects of man’s activities.  However, the use seems to be minimal and the world faces a lot of costs and danger of depletion with non-renewable sources. Further research should focus on strategies that energy industries can use to optimally harness the renewable sources in all the regions of the world.




All the studies show similarity in agreeing with that energy consumption in the world is vital and on the increase.  Simply put, it is hard for man to survive without energy.  However, the common sources of energy which are usually non-renewable, for instance fossil fuels are in danger of depletion.  Moreover, fossil fuel is associated with the current environmental problem-global warming.  This shows that if man does not invest in other sources of energy, it will be difficult to survive.  Fortunately, there is an increase focus on renewable energy which can be naturally replenished as well as meet all the needs of man concerning power generation, heating and generation of transport fuel. Most of the studies show the importance of renewable energy in various sectors.  However, further research should now focus on various ways of tapping the different sources of renewable energy-sun, wind, geothermal heat, water and tides-in different environments.  Renewable energy is sufficient to meet all the needs of man without causing detrimental harm to the environment.










Works Cited

Agence France-Presse. We built this city on renewable energy. American Metrological Society, 2008: 433-434

Aitken, Donald, W. Transitioning to a renewable energy future, International Solar Energy          Society, 2010.

Duchane, Dave & Brown, Don. Hot Dry Rock (HDR) Geothermal energy research and            development at Fenton Hill, New Mexico. Geo-Heat Centre Quarterly Bulletin, vol.             23 (4):  pp. 13–19.

Guo, Q. C. Te time to speed up wind power development, Energy Environ, 2005, 1:8-10

Ferrey, Steven. The failure of international global warming regulation to promote needed            renewable energy, Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, 2010, vol. 37(1) 67-126

Hook, D.S. Reason to believe (power renewable energy), Engineering and Technology, vol.      3(13): 54-56

Klaassen, G. and Riahi, K. Internalizing externalities of electricity generation: an analysis             with MESSAGE-MACRO, Energy policy, vol. 35(2)815-827

Martinot, Eric. Renewable energy gains momentum, Environment, 2006, vol. 48(6): 26-43

Maxwell, Lawrence.  Sustainable design and renewable energy concepts in practice.      Sustainability, 2009: 162-172.

International Energy Agency (IEA). Renewables in global energy supply: An IEA facts sheet,            OECD 2007.

International Energy Agency (OECD). World Energy Outlook 2006: OECD.

Kancs, D’artis. Applied general equilibrium analysis of renewable energy policies,          International Journal of Sustainable Energy, 2007, vol. 26(1): 31-50

Ramachandra, T.V., Jha, Rajeev, Krishna, Vamsee, and Shruthi, B., V. Solar energy decision   support system, International Journal of Sustainable Energy, 2005, vol. 24(4): 207-        224

Su, Ming-Shan, Deng, Jing & Zhao, Chun-Rong. Interaction of renewable energy policy and     CO2 emission control policy: Case study, Journal of Energy Engineering, 2008, vol.     134(2); 63


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