What Types of Green Energy Can We Use Today?
Green energy is a term used to refer to the cleanest energy available today. It derives its name from the fact that it is energy that is produced and consumed in a manner that is friendly to the environment. Examples of a green energy source would include; solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy and hydro-energy.
Green energy is produced in a more environmentally friendly way than that produced from fossil fuels such as coal and oil. It is important to note that some of these forms of energy such as geothermal and hydro may sometimes be considered “less green” due to the fact that fossil fuels are used to run steam and water turbines in seasons where there is inadequate water. Other green energy forms include nuclear energy which is considered green only because it has a low waste output.
The main goal of future energy production is generation of power with little or no pollution. Most people are pushing for green energy solutions today because of environmental problems such as global warming. Pollution from coal and gas produced energy used worldwide has resulted in the Earth heating up (global warming) which limits the ability of the planet to preserve itself in the future. It is therefore appropriate for the world to embrace these energy solutions mentioned below to save the planet from more environmental degradation.
Global green energy solutions explained
1. Solar energy: This is the most popular source of clean energy. Solar energy is also the most prevalent type because it comes free from the sun. It is important to note that the sun on its own is not solar power. Solar energy is produced when photovoltaic cells capture sunlight and transform it into electricity. Solar energy is probably the greenest form of energy because it produces no harmful emissions. Most institutions i.e. governments thus encourage the use of solar power for this reason among others such as affordability and safety. It is important to note that solar energy is capable meeting all energy needsin the home such as heating and lighting. Solar is popular in households for heating water through solar powered water heating systems. It is also used for cooking and lighting homes. In summary, solar is among the best solutions for a greener planet.
2. Wind energy: This is produced when wind is used to push turbines to generate electricity. It is important to note that the strength of wind determines the amount of electricity produced. Wind energy is thus best set up in places that have constant strong winds. For instance, high altitude areas offer the best conditions for capturing the strongest winds. Wind is usually captured and used to rotate windmills which in turn generate electricity by turning wind turbines. Wind energy according to numerous surveys remains under-utilised. The main reason behind this is; high set up costs. It is however important to note that surveys indicate that setting up wind turbines in all suitable sites around the world can cater for all domestic energy consumption needs. Wind energy is therefore among the best green energy solutions.
3. Hydropower: This basically stands for power or energy that is generated by water. This energy source is generated
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when water under high pressure and is used to run water turbines. When generating hydropower, water from rivers is trapped to form dams which are then used to create high pressure water environments necessary for running water turbines. It is important to note that Hydro-power depends highly on rainfall thus for this type to be sustainable, there must be reliable rainfall otherwise the water turbines will not run efficiently.
4. Geothermal Energy: This refers to energy from hot springs that occur naturally in the earth’s crust. Hot springs form as a result of radioactive decaying of minerals or through natural earth crust movements. Geothermal energy is basically generated from hot steam that is produced from hot springs. Because hot springs do not occur everywhere in the world, this form of energy can only be generated in areas where they are available. It is however important to note that geothermal energy is more reliable that energy forms such as coal energy thus it can be part of the world’s source of green energy if utilised more.
5. Bio-energy: This is also an example of green energy. Bio-energy is produced from biomass which contains stored energy. Biomass produces bio-fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. These types of fuels are much cleaner than fossil fuels. Bio-fuels are thus excellent substitutes for fossil fuels because they are eventually capable of meeting world fuel needs. Bio-fuels are however not available on a wide scale, but they can contribute as green solutions if they were better promoted.
As you can see you can power your entire home or business using just green energy alone. At the moment it tends to work out a little more costly generating electricity from green sources. Energy from fossil fuels is still relatively cheaper, but we are at the tipping point where this situation will soon be reversed.