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The Future of Renewable Energy: Comparing Different Energy Sources

As concerns about growing climate change and depleting fossil fuels, the discussion around renewable energy sources has become more prevalent. There are multiple types of renewable energy sources available to both businesses and direct to consumers, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will discuss various renewable energy sources, and what recent technology has in store for the future of renewable energy.

Solar Power

Solar energy is one of the most popular forms of renewable energy, available wholesale or commercially. This renewable energy source converts sunlight into energy by using solar panels. Solar panels are great options for homes, as they can be easily installed onto roofs and create abundant energy. However, solar energy on a large scale can be expensive and less effective in areas that do not receive as much sun. They also prove difficult to dispose of, as they contain toxins that can harm the environment if not properly taken care of after their limited lifespan.

Wind Power

Another common form of renewable energy is wind power. Harnessed using large turbines, wind power creates completely renewable energy. Once the initial investment is made, wind turbines can be a cost-effective way to generate renewable energy. They also create jobs, as turbines have to be manufactured, installed and maintained. The downfalls of wind power include the large amount of land they require, the need for high winds and the creation of noise pollution.


Hydropower, a renewable energy source that uses running water to generate electricity, is one of the oldest renewable energy methods. Hydropower is more reliable than either wind or solar power, with a constant source of running water energy generated 24/7. Another benefit of hydropower is that the dams used can also be employed to help mitigate issues, such as water storage or flood control. However, hydropower has a significant impact on the environment, affecting ecosystems in rivers. Additionally, the dams require a high upfront cost—which may serve as a barrier to entry.

District Energy

One less common form of renewable energy is district or a district energy system. This form of renewable energy uses excess thermal energy from industrial processes, or even natural formations like volcanos to produce steam. This steam has the power to heat entire cities or be used to generate electricity. Similar to district energy is cogeneration, which is when one process creates the desired outcome, as well as a byproduct. An example of cogeneration is the GenHydro reactor, which uses heat produced by the reactor to create high quality steam to be used for heating or to be converted into energy. There are many pros to district energy such as it’s very efficient, reduces energy waste and are reliable. However, district energy also requires a hefty upfront investment, require a centralized system, need a large amount of space, and could be impractical with changes in demand and population.

The Solution? Green Hydrogen.

Green hydrogen serves as a fully clean and renewable alternative to traditional renewable energy. There are no greenhouse gas emissions associated with green hydrogen and it can be used in a wide variety of applications. Specifically, green hydrogen makes the most sense in hard to abate industries such industrial processing, long haul shipping and aviation. Not only can hydrogen be used as a renewable energy source, but it can also be used as a fuel for transportation, heating/cooling buildings, or feedstock. Traditionally, cons associated with green hydrogen production are high costs and inability to scale appropriately. However, GenHydro's novel reactant-based approach provides scalable, affordable, and decentralized green hydrogen now by turning scrap aluminum into hydrogen with zero waste byproduct. To learn more about the GenHydro technology, download our whitepaper here and stay up to date with green hydrogen developments by subscribing to our newsletter. Join the conversation below!

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