Nearly a fifth of the energy generated in the US comes from renewable sources. With climate campaigners getting more and more attention, this will likely keep increasing.
With all this publicity, you might be wondering what the difference is between clean, renewable, and green energy.
Clean energy describes an energy source that doesn’t pollute the atmosphere. Renewable energy means that the fuel source won’t run out.
Green energy is a combination of these factors. It’s a renewable energy source that doesn’t impact the environment.
But which energy sources actually count as “green power?” Read on to learn about the six most common types, and how you can harness one yourself!
1. Wind Power
Wind power turns the energy in the wind into electricity. The most common way of doing this is with wind turbines.
The blades spin in the wind. This rotates a mechanism inside the turbine to create electricity.
Wind energy is completely green, as it’s harnessing a limitless resource in a low-impact way.
2. Solar Power
A solar power system works by collecting the light from the sun and turning it into electricity. Just like wind power, this is a zero-impact way of generating electricity. What’s especially great about solar power is it’s one of the only green energy sources we can harness ourselves.
Most people can’t install a wind turbine in their backyard, but they can organize a residential solar installation. With solar power, anyone can take green energy into their own hands.
3. Geothermal Power
Geothermal energy uses the heat from the earth’s core to generate electricity. The power plants either use the heat itself to generate power, or use it to generate steam. This steam then spins turbines, just like the mechanics of wind power.
4. Biomass Power
Biomass power also depends on a turbine turning a generator. But the turning action comes from hot gas, which in turn comes from burning biomass. This biomass is typically dead organisms, such as plants.
5. Biogas Power
Biogas occurs when organic matter breaks down without the presence of oxygen. When compressed, biogas can become fuel for vehicles. Or when cleaned, it can be used in the same way as natural gas – except unlike natural gas, it’s renewable!
6. Low-Impact Hydropower
Also known as hydroelectric power, hydropower harnesses water’s natural movement. Rushing water turns turbines that power generators.
Some hydropower is classed as high impact. Although it is renewable energy, it significantly impacts the environment.
On the other hand, low-impact hydropower is also clean energy. That’s because it doesn’t greatly affect the environment around it. So it’s truly a green energy source.
Stay Informed on Green Energy
Solar is the primary source of green energy available to individual homes. But this might change over time. As the public eye on the climate crisis increases, further green energy technology may be developed for personal use.
Until that happens, keep up to date on our articles to learn about everything going on with green energy. And keep tabs on other exciting advancements in our technology section.