Renewable resources offer promising solutions for meeting the world’s growing need for energy while keeping carbon emissions low and helping to deal with climate change. There are a variety of renewable energy sources, each using different technology. Learn what the main sources are and how we harness them.

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy, called sometimes new energies, refers to energy that comes from sources that can be replaced continuously in nature, such as sunlight, water, and wind. They’re more sustainable than fossil fuels, which will run out over time; their carbon footprints are far smaller; and they are safer for the environment.

Despite the benefits that renewable energy poses for reducing carbon emissions, tackling climate change, and protecting our health, we’re not at a stage when we can switch completely. Power from sources like wind and the sun can fluctuate depending on what the weather is doing, and we can’t easily store electricity from these sources as it’s produced. Currently, renewables are most often used to create electricity, but they’re still not as cost reliable as fossil fuels. Yet, renewables are vital for a more sustainable future.