What is Green Energy?
Green energy is electricity produced in such a way that it has minimal harmfuleffects on the environment, additionally, it also helps reduce greenhouse gases. It is a renewable source of energy harnessed from natural elements present in nature such as solar, wind, geothermal, water and biogas. In some instances, even nuclear energy is occasionally thought of as a green energy source, as some types of nuclear technology produce much less waste and have a much cleaner process for production compared to the conventional oil and coal sources.
Green energy has the highest and the most positive impact on the environment and it is hailed as the energy source of the future. Green energy relies on fuel sources that are easily replenished and restore themselves naturally over a short period of time, besides they never reduce or disappear altogether. This is why energy sources such as sun, wind, water among other sources are considered as small steps that ultimately lead to a larger good.
There is a conscious movement by corporates, individuals, even countries to consume more of green power in order to avoid the harmful environmental impact of conventional energy.
The cost of producing green energy is too high
A common misnomer that is widely believed to be true is that the expenses for producing green energy are too high and therefore not worth it. However, this belief may have been somewhat true some time back, but not anymore.
It is important to note that hydro, wind power or solar photovoltaic power has had many advances in technology and there are newer innovations in components that have added to reduction in the overall cost. Larger wind turbines, cheaper solar panel parts and more land contribution have made green energy cheaper.
Conventional energy sources cause an adverse setback on the environment and have an even more harmful effect on the overall health and quality of life. It is a known fact that coal factories spew forth air pollution which is a deadly mix of carbon and sulphur dioxide emissions and this doesn’t even begin to describe the smog and negative ozone effects. Fossil fuels have huge environmental costs from mining, drilling and extraction besides producing harmful gases during combustion.
Wind, solar or hydro energy don’t cause respiratory problems or cause harmful air pollution, neither does it pose any dangers or upheavals that are usually involved in mining.
Sure, Solar energy is free, but is it enough? Photovoltaic power is virtually free, constant and one of the cleanest sources of energy to be gifted to mankind. However, given that land is at a premium and solar panels do require heavy land contribution, there are arguments that this energy source may not be the only solution for all our energy problems.
Nonetheless, the potential for mass generation of solar power seems prospective and there are large corporations backing this energy source. It’s important to understand that obtaining power from the sun means harnessing a perennial energy source, one that sustains the entire planetary system, our atmosphere and is a life source for all living things on earth. It’s not called a massive ball of fire for nothing.
What’s that noise? Oh, it’s the Wind Turbine
Recent data suggests that India has the fifth largest installed wind power capacity in the world. In 2009-10 India’s growth rate was highest among the other top four countries. As of 31 March 2015 the installed capacity of wind power in India was 22,644.63 MW. This goes to show the massive potential presented by this green energy source. However, there are several counter arguments too– wind farms are notorious for excessive noise and energy inefficiency, besides being touted as bird killers, but are they really the villain they are made out to be?
While wind turbines may be inefficient in the immediate present, the long term benefits have been shown to be satisfactory. Besides, it is only logical that any energy production facility would require heavy initial investment and upfront costs. Average Wind farms harvesting wind energy have been shown to be economical and cover up the manufacturing costs over three to five months of operation (in relation to the manufacturing costs of the turbines).
Yes, wind turbines kill birds, but how many? It has been seen that less than 1in every 30,000 birds actually die because of wind turbines. Are the turbines noisy? The answer is yes and no. The current technological advances in green energy and especially in turbine manufacturing have aimed to create turbines that are relatively silent. So, one might hear a soft, steady whine of the wind passing through the blades, no more. Stand a few meters away from a wind farm and one would think the sound is comparable to a kitchen refrigerator close by.