15 June 2022

What renewable energy sources are there?

Solar energy, biogas, wind energy and nuclear energy. These are some examples of energy sources, but not all of them are good for the environment. What renewable energy sources are there?

Fossil and renewable energy sources

Before looking at different forms of renewable energy, it is good to make a distinction between fossil and renewable sources. Fossil energy sources are forms of energy that use raw materials that will eventually run out, such as oil, natural gas, nuclear power and coal. Not only are these sources finite, but they also cause air pollution and emit CO2. They have a negative impact on climate change.

Renewable energy sources are renewable and can therefore be used indefinitely. The earth provides these sources itself. They do not pollute the air or pollute it much less and emit less CO2. In order to combat climate change, it is good if we all switch to sustainable sources of energy.

Known renewable energy sources

You may already be familiar with these forms of energy. Some renewable energy sources are:

Solar energy

The sun is an inexhaustible source of energy. Solar energy is generated by solar parks or fields, but it can also be generated at home by solar panels on the roof. Approximately 1.5 million households in the Netherlands have solar panels on their roofs. Of all sustainable energy sources, solar energy is the easiest to generate at home.

It is a clean source. The production of solar panels costs energy, but the high efficiency of the panels compensates for that within a few years. At the moment, solar panels are still difficult to recycle. Various researchers are looking into how this can be improved in the future in order to make production more environmentally friendly.

Do you also have solar panels on your roof and want to use your energy as efficiently as possible? This is possible with our innovative zappi. This smart system uses your self-generated solar energy to charge your electric car.

Wind energy

The wind is also an inexhaustible source of renewable energy. This form of sustainable energy is generated in wind parks, but can also be generated with your own wind turbine. A wind turbine is often placed in your garden. They are a lot smaller in size and also generate less energy than a turbine in a wind farm. If you compare your own wind turbine with solar panels, then solar panels are more profitable and better suited to meeting your energy needs.


Flowing water can be converted into energy. The flowing water spins a turbine that is connected to an electric generator. We also call this renewable energy source hydroelectricity. As much as 71 per cent of renewable energy worldwide is hydroelectricity.

Although this form of renewable energy comes from a clean energy source, there are some critics who consider it unsustainable. They say the large-scale plants that need to be built are costly and can disrupt the lives of surrounding communities and ecosystems.


Biomass is the most widely used form of renewable energy in the Netherlands. It consists of various organic materials, which are fermented or gassed into biofuel. This is then burned, which releases energy. The question of whether biomass can really be called sustainable is the subject of much debate. Sometimes special crops are grown for biofuel and therefore not only residual waste from, for example, agriculture is used.

Geothermal and ground heat

Energy can be generated from currents and hot springs within the earth's crust. With special geothermal heat pumps, this heat is converted into energy. We also call it geothermal energy. It is free of carbon and renewable. Therefore, geothermal energy is a sustainable energy source.

Interesting? Read also: How is renewable energy doing in the Netherlands?

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