Reading Comprehension | Renewable Energy

Develop your reading skills. Read the following text about renewable energy and do the comprehension questions

What is renewable energy?

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is energy that is environment-friendly because it is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished. Examples of these renewable resources include sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat (i.e.the thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth). There is a distinction between renewable energy and alternative energy. The latter is generated from alternatives to fossil fuels and need not be renewable.

Renewable energy often supplies energy in four essential sectors:

  • The generation of electricity;
  • Cooling and heating of air;
  • Means of transport,
  • Rural energy services.

Investing in renewable energy

Global investments in renewable technologies were estimated to be more than US$286 billion in 2015. Countries like China and the United States invest heavily in wind, hydro, solar and biofuels. Globally, there are an estimated 7.7 million jobs associated with the renewable energy industries, with solar photovoltaics being the largest renewable employer. As of 2015 worldwide, more than half of all new electricity capacity installed was renewable.

Benefits of renewable energy

There are a lot of benefits to using renewable energy. First, naturally replenished energy resources are found over wide geographical areas, in contrast to non-renewable resources, which exist only in a limited number of countries. In addition to that, rapid deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency is resulting in significant energy security, climate change mitigation, and economic benefits. The results of a recent review of the literature concluded that as greenhouse gas emitters begin to be held liable for damages resulting from greenhouse gas emissions resulting in climate change, a high value for liability mitigation would provide powerful incentives for deployment of renewable energy technologies.

There are other undeniable advantages of renewable energy. Renewable technologies are also suited to rural and remote areas and developing countries, where energy is often crucial in human development. Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that renewable energy has the ability to lift the poorest nations to new levels of prosperity. Besides, as most renewables provide electricity, renewable energy deployment is often applied in conjunction with further electrification, which has several benefits:

  • Electricity can be converted to heat (where necessary generating higher temperatures than fossil fuels);
  • Electricity can be converted into mechanical energy with high efficiency;
  • Electricity from renewable resources is clean at the point of consumption.

Deployment of renewable energy

In international public opinion surveys, there is strong support for promoting renewable sources such as solar power and wind power. At the national level, at least 30 nations around the world already have renewable energy contributing more than 20 percent of energy supply. National renewable energy markets are projected to continue to grow strongly in the coming decade and beyond. Some places and at least two countries, Iceland and Norway generate all their electricity using renewable energy already, and many other countries have set a goal to reach 100% renewable energy in the future. For example, in Denmark, the government decided to switch the total energy supply (electricity, mobility and heating/cooling) to 100% renewable energy by 2050.


Renewable energy systems are rapidly becoming more efficient and cheaper. Their share of total energy consumption is increasing. Growth in consumption of coal and oil could end by 2020 due to increased uptake of renewables and natural gas.

Source: Wikipedia


  1. Alternative energy is another term for renewable energy.
    a. True
    b. False
  2. According to statistics, as of 2015, more than fifty percent of all electricity capacity installed was renewable.
    a. True.
    b. False.
  3. Renewable energy may be available worldwide.
    a. True
    b. False

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