Green energy is any type of energy that is generated from nature. The term is met with confusion by some & commonly used to refer to renewables by others though there is a clear distinction. Renewable energy comes from sources that are constantly being replenished. These energy resources don’t harm the environment. So these are clean energy as well. Green energy utilizes energy sources that are readily available all over the world including in rural & remote areas. Many people are calling for a greater investment in green energy generation because of its minimal impact on environment & minimal emission of harmful GHGs as well.
It replaces the negative effects of fossil fuels with more eco friendly alternatives. It also creates jobs for communities. Renewable energy saw the creation of 11 million jobs worldwide in 2018. Due to the local nature of energy production, energy infrastructure is more flexible & less dependent on centralised sources that can lead to climate change. Green energy also represents a low cost solution for the energy needs of many parts of the world.
Refurbishment is the process of any improvement to anything by cleaning, decorating & reequipping. It is often interchangeable with renovation or restoration. It encompasses upgrading, major repair, alterations, conversions, extensions as well as modernisations.
Sustainable refurbishment is the equivalent term of sustainable development. The process of sustainable refurbishment includes minimising the waste of existing components, recycling & using environmentally friendly materials, minimizing energy use etc. Sustainable refurbishment is not a new concept. It is gaining recognition & importance because of the current concerns of climate change & environmental damages.
Green energy comes from renewable energy sources such as solar energy, wind power, geothermal energy, biomass & hydroelectric power. Each of the technologies works in different ways. The main sources are wind, solar & hydropower. Solar & wind power are able to be produced on a small scale & on a larger scale as well like industrial scale. Green sources often avoid mining or drilling operations that can be damaging to ecosystems. Research on renewables, clean & non polluting energy sources is advancing at a pace that is beyond imagination. So it is hard to keep track of many types of green energy. The most common types of green energy are: solar power, wind power, hydropower, geothermal energy, biomass, biofuels, biogas etc.
Solar energy: Solar is a clean source of primary energy which comes directly from the sun. This energy reaches us via solar radiation which we collect & convert into usable energy like electricity. Solar power is also used to heat buildings, hot water & for cooking & lighting.
Wind energy: Air flow on the earth’s surface can be used to push turbines to generate electricity. It is particularly suited for offshore & higher altitude sites. Research shows a network of land based, 2.5 megawatt wind turbines into rural areas operating at just 20% of their rated capacity could supply 40 times the current worldwide consumption of energy.
Hydro power: Also called hydroelectric power. It is generated by earth’s water cycle including evaporation, tides, rainfall & the force of running water. This type of green energy uses the flow of water in rivers, streams & dams.
Geothermal energy: This uses thermal energy of the earth’s crust. Geothermal energy in the form of hot springs has been used by humans for bathing & now it is being used to generate electricity as well.
Biomass: Contains stored energy from the sun.
Biofuels: Rather than burning biomass to produce energy, these renewable organic materials can be transformed into fuel. Biofuels have potential to meet more than 25% of world demand for transportation by 2050.
Biogas: It is not only a green energy source. It also makes our waste products into an energy. The methane produced from biogas plant can be sold & used to heat homes, produce electricity & fuel vehicles.
There are many sources of environmentally friendly or green energy that are available to us today. Most of them are not in use by masses. The potential of each source of green energy has many benefits. They release little to no harmful emissions. Non renewable energy releases emissions that trap heat & increase the temperature of earth which results to global warming. Green energy is readily available & replenished as well. They are easy to access & replenish. The cost of maintaining & running natural resources is consistent & often very low compared to non renewable fossil fuels. They are more reliable. The green energy sources can simulate the economy as well. Non renewable energy sources cause many serious health risks as they continue to pollute the air, water, soil & the overall environment. These pollutants are particularly harmful to children. Green energy sources do not emit the same number of pollutants. So it leads to better health among the people of the world so the environment.
The efficiency for green energy slightly depends upon locations. In frequent & strong sunny areas solar energy is mostly effective & electricity can be produced with installations of solar panels with a minimal amount of costs. Currently, wind farms are seen as the most efficient source of green energy. It requires less refining & processing production than solar panels. The interest, investment & development of green energy solutions is bringing costs down. The total efficiency of usable energy of coal is just 29% of its original energy values while wind power offers a 1164% return on its original energy input.
Derived from natural resources, green energy is also renewable & clean, e.g. they emit no or few greenhouse gases. Green energy solutions are being used from homes to industries. These include solar water heaters, biomass fueled boilers & direct heat from geothermal. Renewable heat for industrial processes can be run using biomass or renewable electricity. Sustainable biofuels & renewable electricity are growing in use for transportation across multiple industry sectors. So it is clear that green energy has the capability to replace fossil fuels in future.
All energy comes from a source. Conventional energy sources come from combustible fossil fuels that are not renewable & will be finished soon, emit greenhouse gases & cause air pollution. Coal & oil pour toxic gases into the environment, impacting general health causing respiratory issues & reduce life span.
Simply extracting oil & coal can destroy areas, environments, economies & livelihoods in the form of devastating oil spills. Green energy is a term used for power that is generated via a renewable resource that has minimal impact on the environment & GHGs emissions. Green energy helps to mitigate the existing power issues of environment. Green energy provides real benefits for the environment.
Creating energy with a zero carbon footprint is a great stride to a more environmentally friendly future. Clean, renewable & green energy is a exciting space for technologists, environmentalists & anyone who wants to leave a better planet for the next generations.
If we can work together to continue developing advances that minimize the downside of green energy, we will succeed in turning our world into a better place to live in.
Author; Student of Environmental Science and Engineering department at Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University; E-mail: email@example.com