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Renewable Energy and Alternative Energy


Consist of energy resources such as

• Direct solar radiation

• Biomass energy

• Hydropower

• Wind energy

• Wave Energy

• Ocean Thermal energy

• Tidal energy

• Geothermal energy
Solar Energy
Direct Solar Radiation Energy
Some 30% (5.25 x 1016W) of the incoming solar
radiation is directly reflected and scattered back into
space as short-ware radiation

The earth’s atmosphere, the oceans and the land

masses absorb about 47% (8.17 x 1016W) this is
converted directly into heat at the ambient surface
temperature and is reradiated as long-wave radiation
Origin of Solar Energy

Energy from sun is indefinite

Due to its vast amounts compared to use

Diameter of sun 109 x bigger than earth’s

Mass of sun 330 000 x bigger than earth’s

• Solar radiation: fusion reaction of hydrogen Form helium H + H

. He +Energy
• Loss of mass per second is 4 million tons
The rate at which the incoming solar radiation is intercepted at the
edge of the Earth’s atmosphere is 1373W/m2

• This is known as the ‘solar constant’, defined as the energy
received by a unit surface perpendicular to the solar beam at the
earth’s mean distance from the sun

The total solar power intercepted by earth is 1.75 x 1017W or an

annual total of 5.52 x 1024J

For comparison, the world’s total commercial energy

consumption in 1982 was 2.86 x 1020J, or twenty thousand times
smaller than the solar energy intercepted by the earth
Amounts of hydrogen are finite Solar energy is also finite

Estimated to last five billion years

Sun has passed its half-life time

The sun is a black body

Temperature of the sun is 6000ºC

Strictly solar energy is not renewable

Seen as renewable because of long time scale to exhaustion

Uses of direct solar
• Thermal use: transform solar radiation into heat energy
• Photovoltaic use: solar radiation directly transformed into
• Solar cells ( photovoltaic) (photoelectric cells) convert light
directly electricity
• Solar energy (heat from the sun) can be used in solar heater
for water heating
• Solar furnaces use a huge array of mirrors to concentrate the
sun’s energy into a small space and produce a very high
Biomass Energy Resource
• The amount of organic matter synthesized annually on land and
in the oceans by photosynthesis is equivalent to 3.1 x 1021J of
stored energy.
• This represents less than 0.06% (9.83 x 1013W) of the incoming
solar radiation.

Biomass Energy Production and Flow

• Energy Production/ Flow in Plants is through the process of
• Energy Production/ Flow in Animals (muscle power)
• Photosynthesis is conversion of solar energy into fixed energy
of carbohydrates through the reaction:
• Solar Energy + CO2 + H2O Carbohydrates + O2
• About 0.5% of this photosynthetically fixed carbon is consumed
annually as food
• Up to 1.5% is directly consumed throughout the world as fuel
• During past 600 million years fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural
gas were formed from a very small fraction of the synthesized
organic matter.
• The annual rate of formation is estimated at 4 x 1014 J.
Hydro-power is the kinetic energy contained in falling water
The energy in flowing water is ultimately derived from the sun,
and is therefore constantly being renewed
Energy contained in sunlight evaporates
Energy contained in sunlight evaporates water from the
oceans and deposits it on land in,the form of rain
Differences in land elevation result in rainfall runoff, and allow
some of the original solar energy to be captured as hydro-
electric power
• Hydro Power Resource Measurements
• Amount of energy generated from a hydro-power source is
dependant upon two factors:
• .
• Vertical distance through which the water falls, called the
"head"and Flow rate, measured as volume per unit time
• Energy produced is proportional to the product of head and
the rate of flow

• In equation form it is represented as POWER a FLOW x


• In SI Units, FLOW is measured in cubic meters per second

and HEAD is measured in meters
• Total theoretical potential of hydro power is approximately 9 x
1012 W
• Hydro power resource world wide (Total potential 2857 GW)
• Total Developed 152 GW

• About 5%Hydro power resource in Africa

• Total potential 780 GW (27% of world’s) Total Developed 2 GW

Wind Energy

• Wind energy is another type of renewable energy that

originates from solar energy
• A very small proportion of the incoming solar radiation, about
0.21% (3.68 x 1014W)creates winds
• Approximately 2% of sun’s energy reaching the earth’s surface
is converted to wind energy
• Net Annual Energy Exchange between Earth and Space with
• Horizontal scale is proportional to earth’s surface area between
given latitudes
• Over the whole globe, Net Gain = Net Loss
• This means that there must be a vast transport of energy from
the tropics to the poles to restore balance
Variation of wind speed with height
Variation of wind speed with height can be expressed in two
• Power law
• Logarithmic law
Effect of topography on wind flow
• Obstacles (building, trees)
• Hills
• Valley locations
• Favorable wind site