Renewable energy is energy obtained from resources that are replenished naturally on a human timescale, including sunlight, wind, rain, hydropower, biomass, and geothermal heat. Energy from these sources can provide energy for all areas of energy use.
The Natural Resources Defense Council states: “While renewable energy is often thought of as a new technology, harnessing nature’s power has long been used for heating, transportation, lighting, and more. Wind has powered boats to sail the seas and windmills to grind grain. The sun has provided warmth during the day and helped kindle fires to last into the evening. But over the past 500 years or so, humans increasingly turned to cheaper, dirtier energy sources such as coal and fracked gas. Now that we have increasingly innovative and less-expensive ways to capture and retain wind and solar energy, renewables are becoming a more important power source, accounting for more than one-eighth of U.S. energy generation. The expansion in renewables is happening at scales large and small, from rooftop solar panels that can sell power back to the grid to giant offshore wind farms.” (https://www.nrdc.org/stories/renewable-energy-clean-facts)
Renewable energy solutions in mitigating climate change are significant. The preponderant reliance on fossil fuels and inefficient and outdated coal-fired power plants is one of the main reasons for the energy sector’s high contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions. This not only elevates global temperatures but significantly impacts air quality and human health. Transitioning to renewable energies therefore supports significant progress on the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, as well as on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.