The term renewable energy refers to forms of energy generated by energy sources derived from certain natural resources that, due to their intrinsic characteristics, can be regenerated at least at the same speed with which they are consumed, or are not “exhaustible” on the time scale of “geological eras”. By extension, the use of such energy sources does not endanger the natural resources for future generations. They can therefore be considered as alternatives to traditional fossil fuels, and many of them even have the distinction of being “clean” energy sources, or rather ones that do not release harmful or climate-altering substances into the atmosphere, such as CO2. They are therefore the basis for the so-called green economy. Renewable resources have numerous advantages, the most important of which are undoubtedly their absence of any pollutant emissions during use, and their inexhaustibility. These resources are extremely valuable due to their ability to create energy while generating a minimal environmental impact. This allows us to protect our natural environment for the generations to come, while at the same time limiting the costs associated with energy production and distribution.
Wind energy is derived from the conversion of the wind’s kinetic energy into electricity. Ranked first among all renewable energy sources due to its optimal cost/production ratio, it is also the first renewable energy source to have been used by man, and can be exploited in a simple and economic manner. A wind generator with an axis of rotation horizontal to the ground (HAWT – Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine) consists of a steel tower 60 to 100 metres in height capped by a casing (nacelle), which contains an electrical generator powered by a rotor with blades ranging from 20 to 60 metres in length. Is capable of generating power levels ranging from just a few kW up to 5-6 MW, based on the weather conditions and the windiness of the location.
Solar energy is the energy associated with solar radiation, and represents the primary source of energy on earth that renders life possible. More or less all the other energy sources available to man are derived from this energy, and it can be used directly to generate heat or electrical energy using various types of systems. Solar energy can be used to generate electricity using photovoltaic panels, which exploit the properties of special semiconductor elements in order to generate electrical energy when exposed to the light.