Have you ever walked into your house and turned on the lights and thought to yourself about what kind of energy source you are using to power the lights, appliances, and air conditioning in your house? Does it run off of traditional coal and gas electricity or does your home use newer forms of energy such as solar, wind, water, or nuclear? Would your car be more efficient or better for the environment if it ran off of a different power source? Where did the idea for renewable energy come from? We will look over a brief history of renewable energy and show you why it could be better in the long run.
Before you go out and buy a new set of rv solar panel kits and save on energy the next time you go camping, let’s take a look at the history of renewable energy. Before coal became the primary energy source that the world would use, biomass was the most common among renewable energy sources. Despite this, coal was still a prominent force in creating energy for use. In China, as early as 2000 BC, people were using coal for cooking and to heat homes. Coal was even seen as inferior due to the amount of smoke and soot that it would produce upon burning. The first use of biomass as an energy source was recorded as far back as 790,000 years prior to today.
Wind was also a more common form of energy used to power ships and some farming equipment. Other forms of renewable energy used before the modern era included animal power, human labor, firewood, and water power. Despite the multiple sources of renewable energy many were concerned as early as the 1860s that the world’s source of coal and oil would soon run dry and thus began development into better and more efficient ways to harness energy naturally. Soon enough, publications such as Scientific American had an article in 1911 that talked about the inevitability of natural fuels as our source of power and that we’d have to turn to solar in order to continue the existence of the human race.
The push towards more renewable energy source was heard throughout the world. One example of developments towards renewable energy was in 1900 when Dr. Rudolph Diesel designed and built the first engine capable of running on vegetable oils. Development of renewable sources also included the building of the first Geothermal plant in California. The plant was built around geysers that were unknown until the 1800s. Despite this amazing discover and the potential for a renewable energy source the equipment used to harness the energy couldn’t withstand the conditions and forces of the geysers.
Renewable energy has been around for longer than we have realized. Even though energy sources such as coal and fossil fuels have been leading the world in energy used, the world is slowly turning towards natural energy in order to save the nonrenewable sources while also reducing our footprint on the environment.