Have you ever thought about how much energy you spend every day? And not only in the form of electricity but also fossil fuel, like gasoline and alcohol. Billions of people probably also do not do this, which considerably increases energy consumption around the world. As most of these resources are not infinite, so does the need to think about renewable energies.
This is a recurring theme, but one that is still surprisingly unclear. Just walk around your city and see how many people actually use these types of energy sources day in and day out. Depending on where you live, inclusive, it may be something completely out of the picture. However, with smart cities becoming a trend for many businesses, this type of solution tends to stop being a luxury to become a must.
Understanding renewable energies
As the name implies, these are sources of energy that, for all intents and purposes, are not exhausted. This makes some people feel they are available 100% of the time, but that’s not how it works. The truth is that these energy sources go through a constant renewal, going from the end to the beginning of the chain over time.
Think about the way natural resources work in cycles. The sea water generates rain, which feeds springs, rivers and other sources that we use to drink. The animals feed and the remains return to the soil, fertilizing the soil and the plants, ensuring that everything is taken advantage of. The same principle applies to renewable energy. As long as consumption does not exceed the limit of what nature can produce in a given period of time, that source is, for all intents and purposes, inexhaustible.
The renewal of energy is a maxim in all of nature. But the question for us here is: how can we use this principle to better develop our urban space and lessen our impact on the world?
- Installation / procurement
It all starts or with the creation of a system that can take advantage of a natural energy source or that can collect the material itself. Basically, it says that in order to have hydropower, you need a turbine in a stream of water. To use biomass energy, someone has to pick up all the remains of plants. The initial cost of installation is usually what slows down these energy sources. Even for the cheapest, many people are not willing to put a little more capital into some solar panels, for example. But remember: Long-term thinking is the most important.
The second point is the maintenance of its renewable source. Fortunately, most renewable energies far outnumber their traditional counterparts. Once installed, it is much easier and cheaper to keep them standing. If you plan properly, the lifetime of the equipment in question will be more than enough to offset the initial investment.
- Energy production
Lastly, it is important to remember how much you take out compared to your investment. If you need to spend X of energy to create a system and it only offers you X / 2 return throughout your entire life, then it certainly is not what you need. It would be the case of someone who paid dearly for a high-quality photovoltaic system but installed it in a place where the skies overcast almost year-round. Its utilization will be so low that it will hardly justify the initial purchase.
The importance of renewable energy for development
Growing demand for energy
It is not today that the demand for electricity and fossil fuels has been growing. There are more and more cars on the streets, lamps and appliances in homes and high definition screens in theaters. All of this requires new sources of energy, which can cause harm to the environment or simply be too limited. At some point, everything will need to be reconfigured.
Thinking about the future
Sustainability is not something that benefits anyone right away. For this reason, it is a characteristic left aside by many people and institutions when thinking about its structures and rules. But without a sustainable system, obviously, the tendency is for everything to start and to collapse at some point.
Investing in sustainable energy is one of the main means to increase the life span of an urban environment. Since electricity is one of its main demands, having a source capable of supplying it for almost indeterminate time is always a considerable advantage regardless of its purpose.
Efficiency is the norm
Even seemingly endless sources can dry out, even temporarily, if they are used without care or with weather disturbances. Dams, for example, can become dry if there is no rain for a long time. Even if you have enough today, increasing the efficiency of your energy sources is one way to prevent it from negatively affecting you tomorrow.
The use of renewable energy in smart cities
Considering all the above points, it should be easy to understand why renewable energy is a strong trend, especially among smart cities. With urban centers increasingly integrated, taking advantage of every drop of available resources. It is almost natural to look for more sustainable ways to make the structure work.
Solar panels and wind energy, for example, are standards at these locations. Even if they only meet smaller demands for the time being, the accumulation of these resources is already more than enough to make the system cheaper and more durable.