Green Power

Clean energy is electricity produced from renewable energy sources, like wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, and low-emission energy sources like landfill gas. Compared to common power plants (coal, gas, and oil), green power has an extremely low environmental impact. In other words, it's a very good thing for the environment. However, most of these technologies today can't meet global energy demands. Fig. 16-1 shows how the world's overall energy usage is distributed among various sources.

Fig. 16-1 World energy sources.

Fig. 16-1 World energy sources.

Most power plants add to greenhouse gases, acid rain, smog, and toxic mercury emissions. They also consume water resources, pollute water bodies, and impact local sites, as with solid waste disposal and fuel processing. Depending on a plant's age, size, emissions technology, and waste disposal procedures, environmental impact is high to low.

The good news is that things are changing. Along with consumer demand for clean renewable energy, deregulation of the utilities industry is beginning to drive green power growth. Alternatives like solar, wind, geothermal steam, biomass, and small-scale hydroelectric power sources are becoming more feasible and readily accepted. Small commercial solar power plants have begun serving some energy markets.

Green power is produced by a renewable "green" energy source, distinct from power produced by fossil fuel, nuclear, and other types of generators.

Marketing divisions of energy companies have begun offering renewable, green energy options as a new, environmentally savvy customer choice. In some states, like California, environmental standards are high and meet a strict definition of green power. Other states don't have to meet a state standard. An environmentally smart buyer will read the fine print and investigate the exact energy source mix offered by utilities.

Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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