Renewable Technology Options
After identifying and quantifying you renewable energy resources of interest, it's time to investigate the renewable energy conversion options, or technologies, at your disposal. Each of the renewable resources has multiple technology options, which are often tailored to the specific end-use need. For example:
Solar energy can be converted to electricity or heat, and that heat can range from low-temperature heat to high-temperature heat for commercial and industrial processes.
Biomass can be burned directly — or gasified and then burned — to produce heat, which can then be converted into electricity. Biomass can also be converted to liquid fuels, such as ethanol or biodiesel, or into gaseous fuels.
Geothermal energy can be used for power production or to provide heat for a wide variety of purposes.
Modern wind and hydropower systems convert kinetic (of the wind or water) energy directly to electricity, but shaft power is still an option if desired.
See the Energy Technology Basics section of this Guide for more information.