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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Renewable energy has come to hold a significant place in public discourse surrounding the future supply of energy worldwide. Defined by their ability to replenish themselves within a reasonable time frame, renewable energy resources are extremely varied, as are the technologies that are used to harness them. Renewable energy encompasses a wide range of fields and disciplines, from physics, chemistry, geology, and engineering to manufacturing, electricity production, and economics. This chapter discusses several key renewable energy resources and technologies, including solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower. It provides a simple technical overview of the resources and the mechanisms behind their respective technologies, along with a discussion of the benefits and challenges associated with each resource and technology covered. Finally, it includes a discussion of the state of the industries to help policy makers and political scientists understand the current status—and the potential for future developments—of each area.

Keywords: renewable energy, solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, direct-use, electricity generation, final energy

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