As we make a greater shift towards a sustainable lifestyle, we begin to incorporate different types of alternative energy into our daily activities. We commonly refer to this as green or renewable energy; however there seems to be some confusion as these two are not the same. Let’s try to debunk the common misconceptions and get a better understanding of these two terms; renewable energy and green energy.
According to the EPA, renewable energy is a resource that can restore itself over a human’s life span with minimal environmental impacts (1). These resources include; sun, wind, moving water, organic plants, waste material (biomass), and the earth’s heat. Unfortunately, some renewable energy can cause small environmental impacts to our planet. For example, a large-scale hydroelectric dam can produce energy, however, it can also create problems for fisheries and land use. Another example would be large municipal solid waste turned into energy.
Green energy falls as a subset of renewable energy and is described as having the highest environmental benefits. According to the EPA, the U.S. voluntary market defines solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and low impact small hydroelectric sources as green energy (1). We see here that solar falls under green power which allows one to provide the highest environmental benefit to our planet. Although we categorize solar energy as renewable energy, it is better described as green energy meaning it has the highest environmental benefits. Solar energy collects the sun’s rays and transforms it into energy that we can use to power our homes, cars, buses, planes, lights etc. Solar energy has the highest environmental benefits because while producing clean energy it also produces minimal waste. We know that in a perfect world we would have an energy source that produces no waste or pollution at all. As of right now that is not possible, but green energy comes pretty close to it!
So when considering what type of energy you want to power your home take a look at the graph below to see what energy sources have the highest environmental benefits.
If you have any questions about solar energy or how you can go solar please call 361-360-1800 or schedule your FREE energy consultation with us today!