If you want to go by a strict dictionary definition, solar power could include heating buildings by burning all the forests in the world, because as the trees are replanted, they’ll eventually grow back again.
But nobody advocates such an extreme, even if trees are “renewable.” What people really mean by “renewable” is that any resources used will be replenished not just by natural means, but also within a reasonable length of time.
Using these resources won’t leave the reserves empty for a long time, but the supplies remain almost constantly available. You might think of this as sustainable energy, to be more strictly accurate.
Renewable and clean energy therefore automatically excludes resources such as coal, natural gas and oil. While it’s true that all of these are originally derived from plant or animal material, all of which are technically “renewable,” the processes that form these energy sources take millions of years.
That takes them well out of any time frame for renewable power that could be used by human beings right now. Add to this, the effects of global warming from releasing these hydrocarbons into the atmosphere, and these types of energy sources are not desirable anyway. They are the reason alternative energies are needed.
So what is a renewable energy source, then? It’s something that occurs naturally in the world and is a process that is already going on, which human beings can tap into. For example, geothermal heat is the natural heat that is stored in the earth, which can be extracted and used.
Wind is another source, as it can be used to turn the blades of wind turbines and other sorts of windmills, to generate renewable electricity. And of course, the rays of the sun flood the earth with constant solar energy that just needs to be collected and converted into usable power.
Green energy solutions are not just trendy but have a real impact on the earth and its inhabitants. Not only do these renewable energy resources leave the earth less damaged, but they help people live in greater harmony with nature, instead of feeling like they are at war with it.
Oil, gas and coal result not just in damage to the earth from the extraction methods necessary to acquire them, but their long-term effects on the world are even more damaging.
Once you review your options, you may find, it is far better to use renewable, clean resources that will give the earth and living things a better chance for a healthier future.