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What is Green Energy?

What is Green Energy?

You’ve heard the term green energy many times, but what exactly does it mean? Green energy refers to any energy type that is generated from natural resources and often comes from renewable sources. (There is a difference between renewable energy and green energy, which is explored below.) Green energy comes from these six main sources:

  1. Solar – uses photovoltaic cells to capture sunlight and turn it into electricity.
  2. Wind – uses the power of air flow to push turbines, which then generate electricity.
  3. Water (commonly called hydropower or hydroelectric power) – uses water flow from rivers or dams to produce electricity.
  4. Geothermal – uses the thermal energy from under the earth’s crust. This is only considered “green” if drilling is closely monitored and in easy-to-use locations.
  5. Biomass – the burning of wood waste (sawdust) and combustible organic waste to create energy. Also only considered “green” if closely managed.
  6. Biofuels – transforms organic materials into fuel such as ethanol and diesel (similar to biomass, but it is not burned).

They key characteristic of green energy sources is that they don’t harm the environment by releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Green energy is important because we must find sources for our energy usage that is renewable and more environmentally friendly.

Energy Breakdown

Green energy is a subset of renewable energy. You know how all tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises? Same with green energy—all green energy sources are renewable, but not all renewable sources are considered green. An example is that wind power is considered renewable AND green, whereas burning wood is considered renewable but NOT green because it releases pollution into the atmosphere. Green energy is considered to have the smallest impact on the environment, clean energy refers to energies that don’t emit greenhouse gases or pollutants during the generation process, sustainable energy comes from sources that can’t be depleted and won’t need to be replenished, and alternative energy is a source that doesn’t damage ecosystems or emit greenhouse gases and doesn’t have negative impacts on the environment.

It is possible that green energy can replace fossil fuels, and the best-case scenario is by combining multiple green sources in order to meet the various demands throughout the world. Through the many advancements being made every day in regard to production and development, moving away from nonrenewable, harmful fossil fuels is happening successfully and is necessary for a more sustainable future.

Solar Energy

Solar power is a very clean and abundant renewable energy source, and the U.S. has some of the richest solar resources in the world. The three main aways to capture solar energy include photovoltaics, solar heating & cooling, and concentrating solar power. Photovoltaic systems are generally used on residential and business properties and generate electricity straight from sunlight through and electronic process. Solar power is a great solution for energy demands here in Utah. To get started on a high-quality system at your home or business, contact the experts at Four Seasons Solar.

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