Given that now brands and companies are going green, bio or clean to contribute to a better planet for future generations, it’ll probably be a good idea to understand what these concepts mean to the environment, to the product you are purchasing and to your surroundings. On the other hand, in terms of energy the majority of these concepts also apply, but not all of them, this means that renewable energy, green energy and clean energy are not interchangeable. It is vital to differentiate them to understand the consequences they really have on the environment, and also it gives you a better clue on the advances of green power and sustainability within your local economy.
So let’s start to unveil green, bio or clean on products you normally buy; let’s say you want to buy a bio green product, this generally means that the chemicals used to make that product come from a technological process within the biomass context. This means that the product is a comes out from feedstock or organic living plants or recently living plants, vegetables or organic waste transformed into great fertilizer, cleaning products and chemicals that did not contribute to large greenhouse emissions and air pollution. When talking about food it means that is not processed and the planting and harvesting method is eco friendly and has a low environmental impact.
On the other hand, and in a large scale when you find out that your local community’s electricity is sustained by a clean coal plant this does not mean that is renewable or that is green energy, what it means is that technological efforts are being used to lower the greenhouse gasses emissions to cause a lower environmental impact. Now if you are convinced that this initiative is not enough to fight climate change, then you may be right, however is a start to go from non-renewable to renewable energy sources.
In order to understand this transition let’s start by how to understand renewable energy, green energy and clean energy.
All renewable energy has two main characteristics, first of all they do not deplete. This means that by using this type of energy humankind is not reducing or consuming the source to its minimum. Second of all, renewable energy can be replenished on a human life’s time. This means that the source can be restored, it can be make new again in short time and this process can go on for 60 years at least. Nevertheless, even though these are all great news, not all renewable energy are inherently green energy. This means that hydroelectric resources can have environmental impacts because the land use can be too much for wildlife habitat and it becomes unsustainable.
Green energy is the term used to describe a subset of renewable energy which boats low or zero emissions and low environmental impacts to systems such as land and water. In addition, it also includes technological aid to provide the highest environmental benefits. Green energy is also committed to not only lower or reduce to zero emissions but also to diminish carbon footprint.
Clean energy is a term that comprises technology to reduce greenhouse emissions to conventional or nonrenewable energy sources. As an example we read about clean coal plants, clean nuclear plants, and clean gas plants. These plants do produce less environmental impact but even so they still produce a significant amount of gas emissions and air pollution which is still highly problematic and dangerous. Some websites interchange clean energy and green energy but that might not be the case at all.
Renewable sources are water, sun, wind, biomass, tidal energy and geothermal. Due to irresponsible use these sources can have an impact on the environment and could not be green. A green energy can be used from the sun and the wind.