And what’s the difference between green energy, clean energy, and renewable energy? Often these terms are used interchangeably, but some apparent differences are helpful to note.
Here’s our simple guide.
Green energy comes from natural sources available around us, such as the sun and wind. Meanwhile, renewable energy, also called sustainable energy, is derived from sources that can naturally replenish themselves. Wind and sun are the two most obvious examples. Lastly, clean energy sources are those that require minimum to no carbon emissions.
All three are energy sources opposite of fossil fuels, like coal and gas, which are finite energy sources. Plus, the burning of fossils fuels to release energy is a cause of climate change.
The terms ‘green energy’ and ‘renewable energy’ are often interchanged. However, there is one essential and sometimes confusing difference between them. This difference became more and more apparent with the ever-increasing passionate public debates discussing such. While most green energy sources are also renewable, not all renewable energy sources are considered entirely green.
A classic example – hydropower. While hydropower – energy generated from fast-flowing water – is renewable, some people argue that the process of generating vast amounts of power from water is not actually green, because of the industrialisation and deforestation involved in the process of building large hydro dams.
Green energy benefits the environment
Green energy is a type of renewable energy and represents sources with the smallest environmental footprint. Examples of such are sunlight, wind, heat, and water. The name can also include low-impact hydroelectric sources and specific forms of biomass.
In addition to reversing climate change, many green energy sources are also less expensive than those created using traditional energy sources, like fossil fuels. For example, large-scale solar and wind – which have substantially lowered in cost over the last ten years – are now cheaper than coal-fired power stations in more than 50% of areas around the world.
Whether green, clean or renewable energy – it’s a big step forward
While there are subtle differences between the three terms, they each represent a favourable future of energy supply. Mankind stands responsible for the deterioration of the environment. With our current state, the need for a carbon-free world exists more than ever.
For individuals, there are countless ways we can make a difference. We can invest in renewable energy, purchase carbon credits, work to improve energy efficiency, and reduce waste.
Ultimately, creating zero-emission societies will require a combination of green energy solutions that each have a positive environmental impact. By reducing our consumption, using cleaner forms of energy, and re-thinking the way we live, work, and move. This, we can create a truly sustainable future.
Your conscious decision
Participating in the movement to create cleaner and greener earth is a conscious decision. As a homeowner, you can participate in this by ensuring your personal energy consumption is from an eco-friendly source. Evergreen Solar is one of the leading solar energy companies in Puget Sound with a team of experts who can advise you on how to get started. Schedule your free consultation today.