Over the last few years, alternative energy sources have become a major concern. While some forms of green energy are known for many years, others have been around for decades. However, with the signing of Paris climate accords 2016 in 2016, the majority of countries worldwide committed to reducing carbon emissions to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.
Many Americans are keen to see a change in the way energy is obtained. A recent opinion poll conducted by the Edison Electric Institute found that 70% of Americans believe that we should source 100% energy from renewable sources in the near future.
What are the different types of energy? Although the terms sustainable energy, green energy, clean and renewable energy are often used interchangeably in news articles and company websites, they actually have different meanings. We’ll be explaining some of the differences among these terms below.
1. Difference Between Renewable, Green, And Clean Energy
Renewable Energy- An unlimited power source
Renewable energy is electricity that comes from natural resources and can be replenished over short periods of time or never runs out. Most people think of solar or wind when they hear the term “renewable energy”. However, the term also covers many other types of generation like hydro (water), geothermal (heat), biomass (plant and/or waste material).
This type of energy is theoretically inexhaustible. It’s much more efficient than non-renewable sources like fossil fuels or gas which can be harmful to the environment.
Green Energy- Great environmental benefit
A subset of renewable energy, green energy represents sources that have the lowest environmental footprint, such as sunlight, wind and heat. This name can also be used to refer to low-impact hydroelectric resources and certain forms of biomass.
Many green energy sources can reverse climate change and are cheaper than fossil-fuel-powered ones. Large-scale solar and wind, which have seen a significant drop in costs over the past ten years, are now less expensive than coal-fired power plants in over 50% of the world’s regions.
Green energy produces no carbon emissions and has the least impact on the environment. It is a vast improvement on fossil-fuel energy sources and preserves many of our precious natural resources.
Clean Energy – Zero Emissions | Not Always Renewable
Clean energy is electricity produced without the emission of greenhouse gases during production. However, it is not always renewable.
So, although all forms of renewable and green energy are considered “clean energy,” nuclear power is also considered clean energy because it doesn’t produce any pollutants or carbon emissions during production. Although not all forms of bio gas are 100% renewable, many types of bio-gas, made from organic matter, household trash, and manure, can also be considered clean energy.
All clean energy sources, are an improvement on fossil fuels and do not emit greenhouse gases. Clean energy production can solve multiple problems simultaneously in cases like bio fuel and landfill gases capture.
2. Benefits Of Sustainable Energy
Wind turbines and solar panels are common to see these days. But why? What benefits do renewable energies offer– and how they contribute toward our health, environment, and economy?
Our atmosphere is being overloaded by human activity and other global warming emissions. These gases act as a blanket trapping heat. This results in a web of harmful and significant impacts. These include stronger and more frequent storms, drought, sea-level rise and extinction.
Our electricity sector accounts for around 29 percent of global warming emissions in the United States. These emissions are mostly caused by fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. However, the majority of renewable energy sources emit little or no global warming gases.
The most important benefit of using renewable energy is its name, which means that it is renewable. It doesn’t run out. Although fossil fuels will eventually run out, the sun, wind, and geothermal energy will continue to be available for the Earth.
Stable energy pricing
Yes! Renewable energy is not only good for the environment but for our wallets too. This Renewable energy can provide affordable First Energy electricity and help stabilize energy prices.
Renewable facilities may require upfront investment to construct, but they can be operated at very low costs. As a result, you will save more on your Pennsylvania Met Ed bills.
3. Sustainability Tips
There are many ways to reduce household energy consumption. These can be simple behavioral changes or large-scale home improvements. Two of the main motivations to conserve energy are to reduce your utility bills, and preserve the environment.
Change your CFLs to LEDs
They are 90% more efficient, contain no harmful gases, and can last long!
By sealing any cracks, gaps and leaks you can save up to 10% heating and cooling costs.
Replace or clean all filters regularly
Filters that are dirty make your system run harder and last longer.
Adjust your thermostat from 78F for the summer to 68F for the winter. Every degree of heating or cooling will result in an increase in energy consumption by 6% to 8. Smart thermostat is a very good option.
Turn off the lights
when they’re not in use. Lighting accounts for about 12% of a typical Metropolitan Edison bill.
Although there are subtle differences among the three terms, each one represents the future of our energy supply. We are moving towards a world without carbon emissions. However, one form of sustainable electricity won’t be enough to meet all our energy needs. We need a mix of clean, green and renewable energy sources.