You’re probably wondering why are green sources of energy becoming more and more popular, right? Industrial Revolution led to a world fueled by fossil fuels; this ignited power consumption and produced massive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. The rates of air pollution have grown abruptly, and the increased CO2 emissions have significantly diminished the air quality.
As days pass by, we become more aware of the different uses we give to energy and how we can improve it to reduce our impact on the environment. And, as we become more aware of it, green sources of energy start slowly becoming the fastest-growing source of energy in the world.
Since it’s growing in popularity, different organisms such as REN21, agreements such as the Paris Agreement started appearing and gaining relevance on the global scene. All of them ultimately aiming to reduce the risk of global warming. We want to give you all the information you need so you can embrace your power to choose! Let us introduce what green sources of energy are—and why they are called that way, their main types, where we are at in its generation and consumption.
Let’s start with the definition, why are green sources of energy “green”?
Green sources of energy are not the same as “renewable” sources of energy, even though sometimes the terms are usually interchangeable. To better understand this, let’s look at the basic definitions:
- Renewable sources of energy are produced from natural resources that replenish themselves automatically.
- Green sources of energy are those sources in their generation that don’t pollute air or water, so it diminishes the negative effects of fossil fuels in the environment. That’s the reason they’re called green. It poses a reduction of the carbon footprint of those who use it. Nuclear power, for instance, is one of the green sources of energy, and it’s a non-renewable source of energy.
So now that we know what they are, let’s move to the top 5 types of green sources of energy:
1. Solar power
Solar energy is one of the most plentiful green sources of energy on Earth, generating the wind and weather in our sky and the plants we use for food and fuel. But how is it transformed into electricity? While investigating the characteristics of silicon semiconductors, scientists at Bell Labs accidentally invented the modern solar-electric cell in 1954. When silicon had some specific impurities, it created a significant electric current when it was exposed to light.
As common as it is, this green source of energy gained prevalence in the late 20th century, then the first photovoltaic cells were massively produced and cheaper. In a nutshell, photovoltaic cells collect sunlight and convert it to electricity. This electricity is currently used to heat buildings and provide hot water and cook and light.
Solar power has now become inexpensive enough to be used for residential uses, such as garden lighting, and to power entire neighborhoods on a wider scale.
2. Wind energy
One of the fastest-growing renewable energy technologies, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. This energy generation can be installed in various places, from inland with strong wind speeds to offshore in really remote places, being the ones with the most potential. Wind turbines, or wind energy conversion devices, work by harnessing the strength of the world’s air movement to propel turbines that create electricity.
The size of the turbine and the length of its blades rule the quantity of electricity that can be collected. The main use of these kinds of green sources of energy is electricity. Wind energy is currently the biggest electricity source among all renewables, having a share of 8,4% of the total electricity generation in 2020.
3. Hydroelectric power
Other forms of green sources of energy are water-generated ones. They rely on the use of water to generate electricity, mainly harnessing rivers, streams, and dams. Hydropower is currently the second-largest power source in the US by having 7,3% of the share. It’s one of the world’s largest forms of renewable energy, and, since it las in the force of falling water, it has become increasingly popular.
Despite the growing popularity and the lack of carbon dioxide emissions, it’s important to note that this poses severe environmental issues such as waterlogging and siltation, which results in a loss of biodiversity in the fish population and other aquatic species. It also displaces locals and causes public outcry.
Green sources of energy are very different from one another. Biomass has been present for thousands of years. It comes from the ignition of organic matter such as wood, plants, or agricultural residues. You can see it from the moment when humans started to use wood for cooking, live and produce energy. One of the uses of biomass is to turn it into biogas and liquid biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.
5. Nuclear Power
Nuclear power is tricky; it’s both a non-renewable and a green source of energy. It is a sustainable energy source that reduces carbon emissions and reduces reliance on oil and fossil fuels. Is, indeed, the third-largest electricity green source of energy in the states. It accounts for 19,7% of the market share itself.
According to data from the World Nuclear Association, nuclear power plants are operational in 31 nations. There have existed more than 18,000 reactors throughout the years. Currently, about 10% of the energy produced worldwide comes from nuclear power.
Where We at In Green Sources of Energy Generation and Consumption?
Based on the latest REN21 report, renewable energy had another record-breaking year in 2020, as installed power capacity grew more than 256 gigawatts (GW) – its largest increase ever. Despite this fast growth, green sources of energy are nowhere close to being the top choice for energy consumption as they account for around 11% of the global primary energy production and around one-quarter of the total electricity generators.
In 2020, based on research made by the US Energy Information Administration, 19,8% of the US electricity generation was made by renewable sources. And we get it, it is growing vastly and steeply, but there is still a long way to run for it to be at the desired share. Check the following interactive map to see the change in her thereof electricity production from renewables since 1985.
In the past few years, more and more green sources of energy have been made available to consumers in the US. With the deregulation of the energy industry, you have the power to choose how you want your energy to be generated.
So now that you know more about the different green sources of energy, we encourage you to take control of it. At Power Choice Now, we want you to embrace your power and choose to have the best service for less money. Visit us now to find out more about energy deregulation and how you can benefit from it.