Green energy is an overarching term used to describe power
that comes from natural, renewable resources. By utilizing resources that are
readily available and easy to replenish, we can cut our dependence on fossil
fuels and reduce our carbon footprints. Many hotels have switched to using
these renewable sources of energy, making them a great option for sustainable
travel.
Unlike energy created from coal and oil, green energy emits
far less pollution and therefore has a smaller impact on the environment. In
the past few decades, green energy production has significantly increased as we
find new ways to harness the resources that are abundantly available to us. Read
on to discover the different types of green energy in use today.

Solar Power

Harnessing the energy from the sun started out as a way to
power satellites and telescopes. Now, solar energy is used to power homes,
buildings and many devices such as calculators. Unlike conventional fossil
fuels, producing solar power emits no harmful emissions. With the sun as a
power source, solar energy is an infinitely renewable resource that can be used
anywhere the sun shines.
Solar energy is created through the capture of the sun’s
energy or heat through a series of mirrored panels. These panels, often
referred to as solar panels, are quiet and easy to operate, making them a great
energy alternative to powering your home or business. Plus, investing in solar
panels is a good way to cut down on energy costs and minimize your carbon
footprint.

Hydropower

Hydropower is generated through the energy of moving water. Most
hydroelectric power plants use dams, forcing water into a turbine. The running
water then spins the turbine, generating electricity. To date, hydropower is the
largest renewable energy source in the United States, representing 6 percent of
our electric supply. In fact, thousands of streams and rivers have been dammed
to produce this hydroelectricity.
Something to consider with hydropower is the environmental impact
it has on wildlife. Building dams can be harmful to aquatic ecosystems,
affecting the lives of fish and other wildlife that depend on the water source.
However, dam building has slowed greatly over the past few decades as the best
sites for generating hydropower are already in use.

Wind Energy

We all know that wind can be a powerful force, so it makes
sense that harnessing its energy would be a great alternative to power plant-generated
energy. Wind energy is gathered through a wind turbine, which basically looks
like a giant fan. As wind hits the turbine, it rotates the blades, transferring
energy to the turbine’s generator.  The
generator then converts the energy into electricity and delivers it to a power
grid.
Unlike the use of fossil fuels, harnessing wind energy does
not produce pollution and is an abundant option for energy. While most energy
is produced in wind farms, smaller versions of wind turbines are also available
to power your home. If your city permits it, consider placing a turbine in your
yard to cut or eliminate your electricity bill and reduce your environmental
impact.

Geothermal Power

Oil is not the only thing under the earth’s surface that is
capable of powering the planet. Steam and hot water located below the surface
can be captured to generate geothermal energy.
When magma gets close to the surface, it heats underground water
sources, creating a high energy content. By drilling into these pockets of
water, the energy can be harvested and converted into electricity.
So far, geothermal energy has been a relatively unexplored
energy alternative. Unfortunately, geothermal development could have some
serious environmental issues. For instance, drilling wells deep enough to
harness this energy may increase seismic activity. There is also the worry that
drilling could contaminate groundwater, making it harmful to drink.

Biogas

Biogas is generated through decomposing bacteria in animal
manure. While it may seem like a disgusting idea, using animal waste for energy
reduces water contamination and harmful emissions caused by manure. Biogas is
largely used on the farms where it’s created. Farmers use the converted energy
to power their farms and heat their water. They also use the leftover manure as
fertilizer for their crops.

Join the Conversation

384 Comments

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