Renewable energy sector is the energy industry field providing for generation of electric, thermal and mechanical energy from renewable energy sources.

Renewable energy sources include the following renewable energy sources (RES), which depending on the application technology, are divided into conventional and unconventional.

Conventional sources of renewable energy include large-scale hydropower, as well as the use of direct incineration of traditional biomass (firewood, cotton stalk, dung cakes, etc.).

According to the methodology of the International Energy Agency (IEA), unconventional RES include:

  • hydropower resources of small hydropower with the capacity of up to 10 MW (that is exclusive of large hydropower plants), which transform kinetic energy of water into electric energy (thereat water does not disappear anywhere);
  • geothermal sources that naturally come out from the earth’s crust in the form of hot water, heat or steam;
  • solar energy;
  • ocean energy (tidal energy, wave energy, current energy, etc.);
  • wind energy;
  • industrial and municipal waste (solid, liquid, gaseous) suitable to provide electric energy in course of incineration, biodegradation or with the help of other processing methods;
  • biomass of different origin, as a by-product of agriculture and forestry, as well as specially-cultivated crops (annual reproduction of resources is possible).

Technical forms of harnessing renewable energy sources

Small hydropower refers to power plants with the capacity of up to 10 MW located on small rivers, canals, waterfalls. Technically these are dams (cascades of dams) that ensure the flow to fall on the generator or sequentially installed generators, lowered into a powerful water flow, capable of giving sufficient kinetic energy for its transformation into electric energy.

Solar industry refers to use of solar energy through: flat-plate collectors with a glass or plastic coating and an optical efficiency factor of at least 60-88%. Used mainly for the production of hot water; modular-type solar-light collectors with a semiconductor coating of the required sizes and configurations. Used to generate electric energy.

Wind energy refers to using the energy of wind by means of wind turbines constituting two or three blade power unit with a horizontal drive and a rotating (downwind) device installed on the mast. Potential for use in the form of small cottage-like installations up to creation of large-scale wind parks.

Biomass is used by means of processing of wood fiber, other plant organics and its derivatives for the production of motor and household fuel (bioethanol, biodiesel); recycling of domestic, municipal and industrial waste, as well as organic waste produced by animals and human beings into biogas.

Geothermics refers to efflux of heat produced in course of geothermal and volcanic activity by means of heat pumps.

Ocean energy refers to tidal and wave power plants.

Hydrogen energy refers to production of hydrogen fuel by its separation from the water and/or hydrocarbons (natural gas).