What is renewable energy?

August 13, 2020

Have you ever wondered what powers the lights in your house? Or how the tv switches on? Or even what’s needed to make the car move? All these things (and many more!) need energy to work.

Energy comes in two forms – non-renewable and renewable.

Non-renewable energy comes from burning fossil fuels like coal and gas to produce electricity and heat and are in limited supply. These materials are called fossil fuels because, like fossils, they come from the remains of plants, animals and other things that lived long ago.

When fossil fuels are burnt to create energy they release emissions, or gases, which can pollute the air and add to global warming. You can find out more about global warming on our climate change page.

Renewable energy comes from natural sources that don’t run out. For example, we can use energy from the sun (solar power), wind and water (hydropower).

Renewable energy is considered to be ‘clean’ energy as it doesn’t create any pollution or emissions so is much better for the environment.

Woking Borough Council has installed solar panels on some of its buildings to create renewable electricity. Perhaps you’ve spotted some? The Council is looking at how it can use more renewable energy to power its buildings and reduce the amount of fossil fuels needed for electricity and heating.


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