Green Energy is a term that follows the buzzword “Green” that is shorthand for sustainability.
You and I, together with the rest of the world’s entire population are now realizing that the way we power our lifestyles have a negative effect on our environment. This has given rise to the call for a more sustainable source of energy to power every aspect of our lives. This common realization, given more weight by prominent political figures and celebrities, has place the search for Green Energy sources in the forefront.
Green Energy is simply sustainable energy. Sustainable energy is energy harvested from sources that replenish on its own naturally.
Green Energy is also clean energy; it does not produce harmful by products when it is harvested, and when it is utilized.
Green Energy: The Need for Power (Demand is Great)
Can you imagine your life with no electricity? Yeah me too!
Power is a necessity. You need it. I need it. It will be very hard to maintain a modern lifestyle without it. Especially since not all cities in the world are planned in a way that people living in it will require less power. Urban planning like that is actually a modern concept.
The world’s power requirement is clear and present. It needs to be addressed, and solutions must be made. However, the commercial path that the power generation industry has taken has lead to the crisis we face right now.
You see, in the past up to the present, the power generation industry addressed the increasing demand for power by fulfilling this mantra, “drill more oil”.
Oil is a resource that is limited in nature. It does not renew naturally, when the supply is depleted it’s done. It is very hard to come by, very complicated to process, and when utilized for power generation, it leaves a harmful footprint. However, the world is still dependent on oil for its power.
Actually Coal is also a fossil fuel that gives us power, but this too is similar to oil in terms of its limited supply and complicated process. Both oil and coal are mainly responsible for the global warming phenomenon we experience today.
Why Use Oil and Coal and other Fossil Fuels?
For the purpose of this article, let’s limit the answer to the question in its relation to the power generation aspect of the matter. After all, this is the single biggest, underlying problem of the world today.
So why are we still using fossil fuels?
I honestly think that it’s because the technology to harness the power generating potential of fossil fuels are already established and in place, all we have to do is to supply the fossil fuel and the world’s insatiable demand for power will be met. Believe it or not, since the investment to convert fossil fuels to energy was made long ago, it is now cheaper and faster to rely on fossil fuels to satisfy the world’s demand for power.
In this regard, fossil fuel has an advantage. It’s like going in a restaurant and ordering a grilled steak since you know grilling is a healthy way to prepare food. However, the restaurant did not invest on a grill instead they are equipped with deep fryers since there is a huge demand for fried food in your area. Now you are faced with a dilemma since its lunchtime and you are hungry and you need to satisfy that hunger quick. You are forced to satisfy your hunger by ordering deep fried chicken. On the outside everything looks good. Your hunger was satisfied, the restaurant made a sale. But your cholesterol level is telling a different story.
So there is great demand for power, the world satisfies this demand with the most reliable and time tested technology it has in generating power. We buy that power, our demands are met, and the power company’s profit margin is good, all is well right? Well, not quite...
Like the guy who was forced to buy a greasy lunch, our environment is starting to react violently with this unholy loop.
Fossil fuels needs to be burned to create energy, and the by-product of this process is a very harmful carbon being released to the environment wreaking havoc to the earth’s temperature resulting in a phenomenon we know as global warming.
We are all affected by the ill effects of global warming. One way or another almost the entire population of the world experienced first hand how global warming has affected the general climate of the earth causing freak weather patterns.
This has led to the race towards discovering and utilising renewable and sustainable sources of energy.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Green Energy
Unlike fossil fuels that need to be processed to create energy, Green Energy sources are already existing and abundant in nature. There is no need to process it; it only needs to be tapped to harness its potential.Â Green Energy is already there, but needs to be converted to the kind of energy that we will be able to use to meet our power demands, in this case electrical.
Most of the Green Energy sources we know today generate kinetic energy (energy of motion). Everything that is in constant motion has a potential to be converted to electrical energy (the energy we use to power our lifestyles).
Examples of these are a running river, the ocean waves, and the wind. All this can be used to drive something to move constantly as it moves, say for example a water wheel that moves as long as the river is moving, which is attached to a shaft that has an electrical generator on the other end. This will consistently generate electricity as long as the water wheel is turning as the river is flowing.
The main disadvantage though, is that the technology for Green Energy is not established, mainly because there is no one investing on its development. This makes Green Energy more expensive to harness than the fossil fuel based energy we use today.
All is changing though. Recent world events are forcing all the nations of the world to invest in renewable energy sources. And theories are coming out left and right. Sources other than the obvious Solar, Wind, and Geothermal are being suggested by different luminaries. Nikola Tesla, the once prominent authority in generating electrical energy came back to the lime light.
Green Energy Sources are our best bet for the future. It is clean, and has the potential to run consistently and generate the power we all crave.
I hope this article has helped you in some way in understanding Green Energy and our need for power. You can comment to this post and speak your mind.
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I will write more about Green Energy in future post so please do bookmark this blog and return from time to time.