The media abounds with conversations regarding the use of green energy, sometimes making it difficult to separate the conflicting opinions from facts. From how to improve upon your own energy supplies and stores to the politicians and measures on your ballot, informed choices will improve your life and that of others.
Coal, oil and natural gas are currently the top three sources of power for people in the modern world. The toxic gases pose dangers to all living beings on the planet. Although some special interest groups minimize the dangers, scientific evidence proves otherwise. One issue that cannot be disputed is that fossil fuels are a finite energy source. This alone should expedite the use of natural energies around the planet.
So, what is green energy? Unlike fossil fuels, these clean energy sources are naturally replenished. Power is harnessed by several different methods, providing people and communities to choose ones based on the local climate and geography.
Solar power dominates the scene for personal power supplies. Individuals can place collection devices on their own property for all, or at least part, of their electricity needs. From cell phones to hot water heaters, devices designed to provide power directly to certain items are becoming more popular. However, inconsistent sunlight can be a drawback to solar power.
Wind turbines dot rural areas across the country to provide power for residents of these natural areas. Although wind patterns can differ throughout the year and time of day, these energy sources are generally limited to areas with consistently sufficient wind to make an impact.
Hydropower is an interesting energy collection method that has been developed for various bodies of water. While dams are the most well-known of these, others are catching on. For instance, tidal power is being explored in several coastal communities as a renewable energy source that doesn’t detract from the natural beauty of the region.
Geothermal energy is generated from the heat within the planet. People have taken advantage of the resulting hot springs throughout history. Today, scientists and technological inventors are refining methods to utilize this natural form of energy.
Organic materials are another renewable source of energy that is tossed into the dumpster far too often. Biomass, which is energy resulting from certain plant and animal byproducts, still has energy within it from the growth process. When biomass is handled correctly, the result is a release of this energy, which is then used.
Wood, and wood waste, falls within this category. This form of biomass has been used throughout time to keep people warm with fire. Today, it can be used to generate electricity as well. Biomass includes several other waste products, including agricultural byproducts and food waste. A biogas converted from human and animal waste is another emerging form of renewable energy.
These are the most common forms of renewable energy that are being utilized around the world today. While fossil fuels cannot be renewed, each of these sources replenishes itself naturally and regularly. You can see the difference for yourself.