Green energy by definition is the energy formed from a sustainable, renewable energy sources that are environmentally friendly with no limited supply. Fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas being used to produce energy are highly polluting to the surrounding hence harmful to the ecosystem. This has triggered concern for less polluting environmental friendly energy sources like wind, solar, geothermal, biofuels and hydropower.
Though green energy is not influential enough to fight fossil fuels due to its high cost, its importance has kept growing more and more in search for a less emitting power option due to climate change that has become a global menace. Therefore the term green does not mean these are the most suitable and effective sources of energy but in that they are environmental friendly working against some forms of pollution without depleting resources. Discussed below are examples of these renewable energy sources how they work, and advantages and disadvantages they have over each other.
Tidal power is produced through tidal stream generators or by barrage generation in which energy created by tidal generation is more environmentally friendly with less impact on ecosystems. This works by tidal stream generators spinning under water with the help of the fast moving intense water. The tidal forces generated by the moon and sun together with the earth’s rotation create the tides. Tides are considered more predictable than both wind and solar energies.
Even with more than sufficient solar energy to assure global demand, the world keep on using expensive oil and fossil fuels as sources of energy. The question everyone is asking is to why solar energy which is a natural resource has not replaced the less environmental friendly fuels? Therefore, the reason behind this is solar energy costs are still high and the proven technologies are on early stages of development therefore its effectiveness is low. This mechanism works by the photovoltaic cells converting sunlight into electricity by use of photoelectric effect. These cells are designed to work under directed sunlight hence built into intent collectors that use lens to focus the sun onto the cells. Solar power involves controlling the sun to generate electricity. It is one of the vast growing energy sources with new technologies coming up at a fast rate. Oil crisis in 1973 contributed to rapid rise in invention of photovoltaic until early 1980s where fast fall of oil prices led to decrease in photovoltaic funding and discontinuation of tax credits associated with Energy tax act of 1978.
Recently solar energy usage is on the rise in residential areas, rural areas where people use solar panels since it’s economical. But on the other hand, it might be unreliable depending with the location, position and environment surrounding the cells. Solar cells notwithstanding apparent scientific improvement in the last few decades still haven't reached the levels of high efficiency. A standard photovoltaic sect has competence of 15%, which means that less than one-sixth of the sunlight reaching the cell actually generates voltage. The low efficiency of marketable solar cells is the major basis why solar panels are still associated with high costs. In order to achieve the preferred efficiency we need superior arrays. Therefore, for solar energy to become competitive with fossil fuels, inexpensive and highly efficient photovoltaic cells need to be produced. Many countries have been practicing environmental tax reform that favors more environmental friendlier sources of energy hence a more responsive market on the new technologies and raising levies on destructive environmental activities like burning coal. Shifting of both taxes and subsidies play a role in encouraging companies to invest in new cleaner technologies for energy production
Wind power entails conversion of wind vigor by wind turbines into mechanical or electrical energy. A large scale wind farm is usually connected to the local power transmission network with small turbines connected hence providing electricity to isolated areas. This is best put up on agricultural land or grazing areas to save on land. On densely populated areas with developments, this would not be possible due to limitations of a suitable location and space. The main drawback with this is noise pollution and depending with the design of the turbines it could harm the birds.
Compressed natural gas is being used in some countries like Canada and America as an alternative for gasoline and diesel due to high pricing on these fuels and for environmental concern where there is too much air pollution in cities. Though it emits greenhouse gases it’s more cleaner and safe compared to diesel and others. Furthermore, in case of a leak, it’s lighter than air and disperses faster.
Geothermal energy is a dominant and efficient method to extort green energy from the earth through natural processes that do not deplete resources. This can be done on small scale by geothermal heat pump or on large scale through a geothermal power plant depending with the size of the unit to be powered. It’s effective on cost, reliable and also environmental friendly but restricted to areas near tectonic plate limits.
Green vehicles refer to vehicles with low or no emission of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere hence environmental friendly. They are designed to lower the costs of energy either by using an efficient vehicle whose engine consumes less petroleum or preferably one that uses other sources of energy that are renewable. One can also create a green vehicle by maintaining their vehicle properly by regularly changing the oil, engine turn-ups and maintenance of proper tire pressure.
There are different types of green vehicles most of which use both partly renewable resources and partly conventional fuels. Also there are fuel and electric powered vehicle like the hydrogen cars, electric cars and fuel-cell cars. Electric cars that use less fuel are considered to be more efficient than the fuel-cell powered cars. However battery oriented use less petrol hence cheaper to manage though needs often charging. Electric cars use electric batteries which run at a high cost but on the positive side they emit less carbon dioxide which is dependent on the source of electricity being used, making them ideal to the environment in this times of global warming.
Use of green vehicles is advantageous as it reduces release of green house gases that cause pollution to the environment thus dropping the effects of global warming. Human health is also improved as these emissions are also known to cause cardiopulmonary and respiratory diseases as well as lung cancer which lead to early mortalities. People have also been able to save on fuel and all-purpose continuance of the vehicles.