The Types & Merits of Green Energy
The word green is today synonymous with an environmentally friendly way of living. In this regard, green energy refers to any energy that is not polluting. The sources of green energy could be sunlight, wind, rain, tides, plants, algae and geothermal heat. In other words, they are renewable sources of energy, which can be replenished naturally. In the last few decades, R&D in green energy has resulted in advanced technologies, which have decreased the cost of solar panels, wind turbines, thereby reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
Green Energy Types
It is an easily available form of renewable energy. It is created utilizing photovoltaic cells. These cells capture sunlight and convert it into electricity. Currently, solar power has become extremely cost effective, thereby powering everything from gadgets to complete neighborhoods.
The flow of air on the surface of the earth can be utilized to operate turbines, while stronger winds create energy. As per an industry report in 2009, “a network of land-based, 2.5-megawatt wind turbines in rural areas operating at just 20% of their rated capacity could supply 40 times the current worldwide consumption of energy”.
It is also known as hydroelectric power. It can be produced by way of the water cycle - evaporation, rainfall, tides and dam controlled power generation.
Significant amounts of thermal energy are located under the earth’s crust. Geothermal energy such as hot springs is being utilized for creating electricity.
Natural substances that had been there in the recent past - wood waste, sawdust, combustible agricultural wastes can be transformed into energy since they retain stored energy from the sun.
Instead of burning biomass to create energy, renewable organic materials such as Biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel) are converted into fuel. According to reports, Biofuels have the capability to meet over 25% of global demand for transportation fuels by 2050.
Merits of Green Energy
Renewable energy sources are found in abundant, unlike fossil fuels. Hence, their opportunity/input costs are low, since renewable energy products such as EVs (electric vehicles) have a 10% discount on insurance premiums, tax breaks among others.
Fossil fuels are often carbons/hydrocarbons. The combustion of fossil fuels emits green house gases and other toxic materials. They pollute the environment. Even land filing the solid wastes is an issue. Using green energy products are ecologically friendly.
Continuous supply of energy is vital for society. However, fossil fuels are not found in every geographic location. Therefore, some nations must depend on other nations with plentiful resources. This can lead to geopolitical uncertainties.
The development of green energy products could result in viable business opportunities, thereby creating new jobs.