Renewable energy

Where can I find information about renewable energy?

Image: White wind turbines by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash.

Entry last updated: 20/04/21


Renewable energy comes from natural sources like the sun, wind, water and natural gas. Non renewable energy comes from fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal. Renewable energy sources have unlimited supplies, whereas non renewable energy sources have limited supplies.

Reasons for renewable energy

With concerns over the amount of air pollution caused by fossil fuels coal, gas and petroleum, there has been a move towards renewable energy as an alternative. You can explore this further on the websites below.

Britannica School Secondary

Britannica School is one of the EPIC resources, a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

  • Search for 'renewable energy'.
  • There is a short article with images and videos on renewable energy that explains why there has been a move towards these forms of energy.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Environmental Studies (Gale In Context)

This is another EPIC resource that explores environmental issues. There are case studies, magazine articles, videos and more.

  • Go to Browse issues.
  • Choose Renewable energy.
  • Then Renewable energy for an overview which includes the reasons why The United States and other countries started looking at renewable energy sources as an alternative to fossil fuels.

Science (Gale In Context)

This EPIC resource has up to date information on alternative and renewable energy.

  • Enter in the search words 'Renewable energy'.
  • Choose the article Renewable energy to find out about the differences between renewable and non-renewable resources.
  • Alternative and renewable energy explores the difference between alternative energy and renewable energy.
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, eg [renewable energy]. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.

Types of renewable energy

The websites below will help you understand more about the different types of renewable energy.

Explain that stuff

This website has a collection of articles about science and technology. As well as a search feature, there is an A-Z index. Articles have information about when last updated.

Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on this website. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Science (Gale in Context)

Revisit this EPIC database to find out about the different types of renewable energy.

Tips: You can also choose from the list of topics that appear when you enter your search words.

Renewable energy in New Zealand

These websites have information on the different types of renewable energy used in New Zealand.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we scroll down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

  • Select the tab Stories A-Z and look under the alphabet E.
  • Find the story 'Energy supply and use'.
  • See Number 9 Renewable energy

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE)

The work of this New Zealand government agency is to support exporters to grow a productive and sustainable economy that benefits the whole country.

  • Use the search box to enter 'renewable energy'.
  • Select the link Investing in NZ renewable energy.
  • Read information on the current use of renewable energy, the target of 100% renewable energy, reasons why renewable energy is supported in New Zealand, renewable green hydrogen, cleantech and geothermal energy.
Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.

Science Learning Hub

Science Learning Hub connects New Zealand scientists with school students and teachers. It has a selection of science articles, activities and videos for intermediate and secondary students.

  • Enter in the words 'renewable energy'.
  • Select Renewable energy sources from the drop-down menu.
  • This will take you to information on different types of renewable energy found in New Zealand.
  • At the end of each energy source is a link to another page of information.
  • Explore these links to learn about things like the New Zealand Wind Energy Association and a map showing all the wind farms in New Zealand.
Tips: Many web pages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more. This searching method is called “pearl growing” because you are picking up pieces of sand to make a beautiful pearl!

Future of renewable energy

The use of renewable sources will only increase because they are always available and are safer for the environment. Have a look at the websites below to find out how renewable energy use is developing.

BBC Bitesize Secondary

This online learning website for students from the UK has lots of helpful learning areas for topics including renewable energy. The article compares non-renewable and renewable energy and looks at the advantages and disadvantages of both, as well as the future.

  • Under England Choose KS3 .
  • Then Geography.
  • Look down the page for 'Energy and resources'.
  • Select Non-renewable and renewable energy
  • Besides the advantages and disadvantages of renewable energy, there is a page on the future of energy production.
Tips: While the information on the BBC Bitesize site is very reliable, most video clips do not work in New Zealand.

Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre Plus

This Epic resource has up to date newspaper, magazine articles and videos from New Zealand, Australia and overseas.

  • Search for 'renewable energy future'.
  • Use the limiters on the left to change the date or select a subject.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions  librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.


Check out your local school or public library for books about renewable energy. Here are some that we found:

SCIS no. 1970174
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