Green energy is any form of energy that is generated from natural resources. These include wind, water or sunlight. It is obtained from renewable sources of energy. Here is the detailed explanation of green energy and its types.
Green energy is different from renewable energy. This form of energy does not harm the environment as they do not release harmful gases into the atmosphere. Green energy often comes from renewable technologies such as solar energy, geothermal energy, biomass or wind power. Each of these green energy types are used in different ways such as using wind turbines or the flow of water to generate energy.
An energy is called green when it does not cause pollution. Fossil fuels cause pollution. Not all sources of renewable energy are green. Green energy resources are naturally replenished unlike fossil fuel sources like natural gas or coal that take millions of years to develop. These also avoid mining or drilling operations. Here are the examples of green energy types.
This is a renewable source of energy that is produced using photovoltaic cells that capture sunlight and turn it into electricity. This power is used to heat buildings for hot water and also for cooking. This is a common and affordable green source of energy for domestic use today.
Found in abundance in offshore and higher altitude sites, wind energy uses the power of the flow of air to push turbines that generate electricity.
This type of green energy uses the flow of water in rivers, streams and dams to produce electricity. It can even work on a small scale using the flow of water in pipes in homes or can come from evaporation, tides in the oceans or rainfall.
This type of green power uses thermal energy that has been stored just under the earth’s crust. While this resource requires drilling to access, thereby calling the environmental impact into question, it is a huge resource once tapped into. Geothermal energy has been used for bathing in hot springs for thousands of years and this same resource can be used for steam to turn turbines and generate electricity.
This renewable resource also needs to be carefully managed in order to be truly labelled as a ‘green energy’ source. Biomass power plants use wood waste, sawdust and combustible organic agricultural waste to create energy. While the burning of these materials releases greenhouse gas these emissions are still far lower than those from petroleum-based fuels.
Rather than burning biomass as mentioned above, these organic materials can be transformed into fuel such as ethanol and biodiesel. Having supplied just 2.7% of the world’s fuel for transport in 2010, the biofuels are estimated to have the capacity to meet over 25% of global transportation fuel demand by 2050.
These are the different green energy types and uses.