What is the difference between Renewable and Alternative Energy?

Renewable energy comes from a source that is naturally occurring and replenishes after use.
Sources of renewable energy include:

  • wind
  • solar
  • hydro
  • geothermal
  • biomass

Alternative energy comes from non-renewable resources, but produces fewer emissions than conventional energy.
Sources of alternative energy include:

  • natural gas cogeneration
  • fuel cells
  • use of waste energy
  • electricity and natural gas used for transportation

Energy used from these resources fall into three categories:

  1. electricity generation
    • examples include wind, solar, hydro, bioenergy and geothermal
  2. heat production
    • examples include energy storage, geothermal, heat pumps and solar
  3. transportation fuels
    • examples include bioenergy and alternate transportation fuels