Energy is not all created equal. We should all be aware of where our energy comes from and how it affects the environment as everyday energy consumers. Thankfully, we now have the ability to not only determine the source of our energy but, in many situations, to choose that source as well. The definition of green energy will come first, after which we’ll examine its advantages and much more.
Why is it Called Green Energy?
Because it is made of natural resources that the Earth provides for us, green energy gained its name. It only makes it natural that renewable energy is connected to the hue that embodies nature given that green is frequently associated with sustainability, nature, and good health.
How Does it Works?
Renewable energy methods like solar energy, wind power, geothermal energy, biomass, and hydroelectric power are common sources of green energy. Each of these technologies works in different ways, whether it is by controlling the energy of the sun, as with solar panels, or by generating energy through the flow of wind or water.
What Does it Mean?
A resource cannot be considered green energy if it produces pollution, as is the case with fossil fuels. Therefore, not all of the sources employed by the renewable energy sector are environmentally friendly. Because of the CO2 released during the burning process, power generation from organic material from sustainable forests may be renewable but it is not always environmentally friendly.
In contrast to fossil fuel sources like natural gas or coal, which can take millions of years to generate, green energy sources are typically renewed by nature. Additionally, mining and drilling operations that can harm ecosystems are frequently avoided by green sources.
The three primary sources are hydropower, solar power, and wind power. Solar energy can be generated on a small scale at individual homes or, alternatively, on a bigger, industrial scale with the use of solar panels.
The Most Common Forms of Clean Energy are as Follows:
Photovoltaic cells are typically used in solar panels, which convert sunlight into electricity, the most popular way to get clean energy nowadays. Along with heating our houses and providing us with hot water, solar energy is also used for cooking and lighting. Although it is also utilized on a bigger scale to power entire communities, solar electricity is now sufficiently economical to be used for home applications, including garden lighting.
Wind energy makes use of the force of the airflow across the world to propel turbines that then produce electricity. It is especially suited to offshore, plain areas with wind pressure and higher altitude sites.
This form of renewable energy, also referred to as hydroelectric power, generates electricity by harnessing the movement of water in dams, rivers, streams, and other structures. Even on a small scale, hydropower can be generated by the flow of water through household pipes, evaporation, rainfall, or ocean tides.
The thermal energy in the earth’s crust can be used to generate this kind of green energy. Even though this requires drilling a cavity in the earth to acquire the steam used for energy, raising apprehensions about its effects on the environment, it is a huge resource of energy. Geothermal energy has been in use for thousands of years in the form of hot springs for bathing. It may also be used to produce steam to run turbines and produce electricity. While certain countries, like Iceland, have readily available geothermal resources, these resources depend on location for ease of use, and for drilling to truly be “green,” careful oversight is required.
For this renewable resource to properly qualify as a “green energy source,” careful management is also necessary. Wood debris, sawdust, and combustible organic agricultural waste are all used in biomass power plants to produce energy. Although these materials emit greenhouse gases when burned, their emissions are still much lower than those of fuels based on petroleum.
These organic resources can be converted into fuels like ethanol and biodiesel rather than burning biomass as previously noted. By 2050, it is predicted that biofuels would be able to supply more than 25% of the world’s demand for transportation fuel, up from just 2.7% in 2010.
Why it is Important?
Green energy is crucial for the environment since it offers environmentally preferable substitutes for the harmful consequences of fossil fuels. Green energy is derived from natural resources and is frequently clean, renewable, and emits little or little greenhouse gases. It is also frequently accessible.
Even when the entire life cycle of a green energy source is taken into account, it still emits significantly fewer greenhouse gases and little to no air pollution than fossil fuels. This is better for the environment, as well as for the well-being of the people and animals who must breathe the air.
Because these sources are frequently produced locally and are less impacted by geopolitical crises, price increases, or supply chain interruptions, they can also result in stable energy prices. The economic advantages also include the development of jobs for those who build the facilities that frequently help the neighborhoods where the workers are working. 11 million jobs were created worldwide in the renewable energy sector in 2018, and this number is expected to rise as we work to achieve goals like net zero.
The energy infrastructure is more adaptable, less reliant on centralized sources that might cause disruption, and less resistant to weather-related climate change because energy is produced locally through sources like solar and wind power.
A cheap alternative to meet the energy needs of many regions of the world is green energy. As costs decrease, the availability of green energy, particularly in underdeveloped countries, will only get better.
There are several applications for green energy in use today, including energy generation, transportation, and thermal heating for buildings. Here are a few instances of industries looking into green technologies:
Buildings’ Heating and Cooling
Large business complexes and private residences alike are using green energy solutions. These include geothermal direct heat systems, biomass-fueled boilers, solar water heaters, and renewable energy-powered cooling systems.
Biomass or sustainably generated power can be used to generate renewable heat for industrial activities. The cement, iron, steel, and chemical industries now rely heavily on hydrogen as a source of renewable energy.
In numerous industrial areas, the use of sustainable biofuels and renewable electricity for transportation is rising. Aerospace and construction are two more industries that are actively researching electrification. The automotive industry is an obvious illustration of how electrification is advancing to replace fossil fuels.
Can It Replace Fossil Fuels?
In the future, green energy has the potential to displace fossil fuels, but this may need a variety of production techniques. Geothermal energy, for instance, performs best in areas where it is simple to access this resource, whereas wind or solar energy may be more appropriate in other regions.
However, with the breakthroughs being made in the production and development of renewable resources, as well as by combining a number of green energy sources to satisfy our demands, there is every reason to assume that fossil fuels could be phased out.
Although this won’t happen for a few more years, it is still essential to slow down climate change, improve the environment, and transition to a more sustainable future.
Can it be Economically Viable?
It is necessary to compare green energy to fossil fuels in order to comprehend its economic viability. The fact is that the price of this kind of energy will only rise with scarcity as widely accessible fossil resources start to run out.
The cost of cleaner energy sources is decreasing as the price of fossil fuels rises. Green energy also benefits from other variables, such as the capacity to manufacture locally focused energy systems at a reasonable cost, like solar farms. As we increase our knowledge and are able to build on prior innovations, the interest in, investment in, and development of green energy solutions is lowering costs.
Green energy can therefore both become economically viable and the preferred choice.
Which Type is the Most Efficient?
Green energy efficiency is somewhat location-dependent because it is simple to develop a quick and efficient energy solution provided the correct conditions exist, such as frequent and strong sunlight.
To effectively compare various energy sources, it is required to examine an energy source’s entire life cycle. This includes determining how much energy can be converted into electricity, how much energy was used to generate the green energy resource, and whether any environmental clearing was necessary to develop the energy source.
From our perspective, solar energy is the most effective source. We chose it as the best option for the following three main reasons:
- Solar energy is readily available unlike other clean sources of energy. It depends on the location too but the sun shines on almost every part of the earth. The solar insolation of a place is an entirely different debate, but yes, the sun is there every day to provide us with its energy.
- Unlike other sources of clean energy, solar does not require vast construction. You can fit it in a calculator, a bag, or anything. You can either go for a solar power plant producing energy in Gigawatts or you can simply choose to power a small portion of your house with a few kilowatts. Comparatively, you will see wind turbines effectively working in large numbers in farms or huge dams needed on the rivers for hydropower.
- Solar is much more affordable for an individual than any other source of clean energy. One may say that hydro or wind energy is cheaper but that is on a utility-scale and in some locations. If we look at solar from an individual point of view, no one can afford to build a dam to power their house or factory on their own but going solar is much more viable and affordable for everyone.
How can it Help the Environment?
Since green energy is produced from renewable resources like sunshine, wind, and water, it actually benefits the environment. These renewable energy sources are the complete opposite of the carbon-emitting, non-renewable fossil fuels that have powered humanity for more than a century.
A significant step toward a future that is more environmentally friendly is the production of electricity with no carbon footprint. We can significantly lessen our environmental effects if we can use them to meet our demands for power, industry, and transportation.
Green Energy vs Clean Energy vs Renewable Energy – What is the Difference?
There is a distinction between green, clean, and renewable energy, as we briefly mentioned before. While a resource can have all of these things at once, and people frequently use these phrases interchangeably, it is also possible for a resource to be renewable but not green or clean (such as with some forms of biomass energy).
Green energy is energy that derives from renewable resources, such as the sun. Clean energy is defined as that which does not emit air pollutants, and renewable energy is energy that is obtained from resources that are continuously renewed, such as hydro power, wind power, or solar energy.
Although there is still some disagreement, renewable energy is frequently considered to be the same thing. Can a hydroelectric dam, for instance, be referred to as “green” if it alters local waterways and has an adverse effect on the environment?
Solar electricity, on the other hand, is a renewable, environmentally friendly, and clean source because it originates from a non-polluting, self-renewing source.
Being a cleaner alternative to many of the dominant current energy sources, green energy will surely be a part of the global future. In addition to being green, these energy sources are renewable, and restorative for the environment, help create jobs, and are envisioned to become economically viable as technologies evolve.
The fact is that the use of fossil fuels must end because they cannot fulfill our energy requirements in a sustainable way. We can establish a fully sustainable future for our energy provision without harming the environment in which we all live by developing a variety of green energy alternatives.
Bright Energy has been working on making Green energy to be the dominant source of power in Pakistan. For this, we have started initiatives such as Green Energy Brigade that bring thought leaders, celebrities, researchers, and other like-minded people on one forum to fuel the conversion towards green energy smoother and faster. Our aim is to help Pakistan revolutionize its energy patterns and become energy-independent by switching to sustainable and green energy from renewable sources to create a brighter future for the coming generations.
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