What is Green Energy?

Green Energy – What is Green Energy?

Green energy is the term used to describe sources of energy that are considered to be environmentally friendly and non-polluting, such as geothermal, wind, solar, and hydro. Green energy sources are often considered “green” because they are perceived to lower carbon emissions and create less pollution.

Green energy is commonly thought of in the context of electricity generation. A fuller picture requires appreciation of efficient energy use as well as mechanical power, heating and cogeneration. Consumers, businesses, and organizations may purchase green energy to support further development, help reduce the environmental impacts of conventional electricity generation, and increase their nation’s energy independence. Renewable energy certificates (green certificates or green tags) have been one way for consumers and businesses to support green energy.

What is Sustainable Energy?

Sustainable Energy – What is Sustainable Energy?

Sustainable energy is the provision of energy such that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. A broader interpretation may allow inclusion of fossil fuels as transitional sources while technology develops, as long as new sources are developed for future generations to use. A narrower interpretation includes only energy sources which are not expected to be depleted in a time frame relevant to the human race, which can potentially also include nuclear power if it is utilized differently from the current manner.

Sustainable energy sources are most often regarded as including all renewable sources, such as biofuels, solar power, wind power, wave power, geothermal power and tidal power. It usually also includes technologies that improve energy efficiency. Conventional fission power is sometimes referred to as sustainable, but this is controversial politically due to concerns about peak uranium, radioactive waste disposal and the risks of disaster due to accident, terrorism, or natural disaster.

What is Renewable Energy?

Renewable Energy – What is Renewable Energy?

Renewable energy is energy generated from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable (naturally replenished). In 2006, about 18% of global final energy consumption came from renewables, with 13% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3% from hydroelectricity. New renewables (small hydro, modern biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuels) accounted for another 2.4% and are growing very rapidly. The share of renewables in electricity generation is around 18%, with 15% of global electricity coming from hydroelectricity and 3.4% from new renewables.

Wind power is growing at the rate of 30% annually, with a worldwide installed capacity of 157,900 megawatts (MW) in 2009, and is widely used in Europe, Asia, and the United States. The annual manufacturing output of the photovoltaics industry reached 6,900 MW in 2008, and photovoltaic (PV) power stations are popular in Germany and Spain. Solar thermal power stations operate in the USA and Spain, and the largest of these is the 354 MW SEGS power plant in the Mojave Desert.[The world's largest geothermal power installation is The Geysers in California, with a rated capacity of 750 MW.[8] Brazil has one of the largest renewable energy programs in the world, involving production of ethanol fuel from sugar cane, and ethanol now provides 18% of the country’s automotive fuel. Ethanol fuel is also widely available in the USA.

While most renewable energy projects and production is large-scale, renewable technologies are also suited to small off-grid applications, sometimes in rural and remote areas, where energy is often crucial in human development.Kenya has the world’s highest household solar ownership rate with roughly 30,000 small (20–100 watt) solar power systems sold per year.

Some renewable energy technologies are criticized for being intermittent or unsightly, yet the renewable energy market continues to grow. Climate change concerns, coupled with high oil prices, peak oil, and increasing government support, are driving increasing renewable energy legislation, incentives and commercialization. New government spending, regulation and policies helped the industry weather the 2009 economic crisis better than many other sectors.