There are many ways to use the sun to generate renewable energy. These can include the generation of electricity through photovoltaic solar cells, the generation of electricity through a concentration of solar power, or the generation of electricity by turbines and a solar updraft tower which traps heated air and thus rotates the turbines.
Solar renewable energy can heat dwellings and other commercial buildings through a passive solar design. It can heat food with the use of solar oven, and heat air or water for hot water or heating space with the thermal panels we mentioned earlier. Solar chimneys are another means of heating and cooling air.
Another renewable energy resource is bio matter, which produces bio fuel. Plants are one example of bio fuel sources. Sugar can give off bio diesel, bagasse and ethanol. These can be burned in boilers or internal combustion engines. The typical method is to burn the bio fuel, thus releasing its chemical energy. Researchers are strenuously working on other ways of converting these bio fuels into electricity, perhaps through such as fuel cells.
Liquid bio fuel is composed of either bio alcohol ethanol is one example or bio-oil. Vegetable oil and bio diesel are two examples of the latter. Bio diesel is used in diesel engines and doesn’t require much if any modification to the engine for that to happen. It can be devised from animal and virgin vegetable oil, from waste and from fats also referred to as lipids. Not only can you use virgin vegetable oil in a diesel engine but these engines were actually first designed to run not on fossil fuel but on vegetable oil.
The primary benefit of using renewable bio diesel energy is that its emissions are considerably lower. Carbon monoxide and other harmful hydrocarbon emissions are reduced by 20-40 percent with bio diesel energy. There are areas where farmers grow corn, sugar beets, switch grass, sugar cane and corn stalk for the express purpose of providing energy for fuel cells and combustion engines. These products produce ethanol, otherwise known as grain alcohol, which is becoming more and more common an automotive fuel resource. E85, an automotive fuel, is made up of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. It is now being sold to the general public.
Future plans, or at least future hopes, for renewable energy include biosynthetic liquid fuel to run our vehicles. The process that would manufacture this would more than likely be a biomass-to-liquid production method, which is also known as Fischer-Tropsch processing, after its founders.
Sugar cane is actually a direct renewable bio fuel energy resource, too. Either the crop is grown specifically for combustion or it is used for other things and the waste that comes from the plant, after processing, is then used for combustion.