Clean energy is one of those terms we see bandied in news reports about climate change and fossil fuels. Most of us know that oil and gas are responsible for many damaging effects on the environment and that the movement toward clean energy is gaining ground with the younger generation and even politicians.
But do you know what clean energy is, exactly? Do you know what it means to how we heat our homes, power our vehicles, and protect our wildlife, water and landscapes?If not, don’t worry! In this article, we define clean energy in all its many forms and look at how it’s going to change our lives.In the past, everyone did use oil and gas to heat our homes and office buildings. No one thought twice in the 20th century about the oil furnace they had in the basement. It was filled once or twice a year, depending on the climate where you lived, and after that, the oil furnace was forgotten.Then, folks began switching to high-efficiency gas furnaces. Some heated their homes with electric baseboard heaters but at a terrifically high cost every month. Gas was what homeowners wanted, and new homes generally had them installed while others replaced old oil furnaces with gas ones. Until fairly recently, gas was the “favoured son” of the heating industry.But now, much progress has been made, and insight gained into the effects of gas deposits on the environment. Consequently, many people want something different to heat their homes that won’t mean the environment is damaged while drilling for gas deposits.
Enter Green Energy
Green energy is, simply put, the kind of energy that is both renewable and natural. For example, solar energy – it’s both clean and endless. Solar panels on rooftops are a perfect example of green energy that will one day, if the political will exists, be commonplace everywhere from Asia to Europe to North America.
The Differences Between Clean Power, Green Power, and Reusable Power:
These terms may seem interchangeable, but they are somewhat different.
Green Energy refers to energy derived from natural sources, such as sunlight.
Renewable Energy: This refers to the energy that can be recycled.
Clean Energy: This refers to the energy that doesn’t cause air pollution.
The ideal combination, energy experts say, is that of renewable energy and green energy, such as wind power and solar power.Clean energy is also renewable and doesn’t cause environmental damage like fuel spills into oceans and other bodies of water – remember the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska in 1989? About 11 million gallons of oil poured into Prince William Sound. Ultimately, more than 1,000 miles of Alaska’s coastline were contaminated, and countless marine mammals, birds and other creatures were harmed or died as a result of the spill.It is precisely that kind of disaster that clean energy can avoid.
What Are The Other Benefits Of Clean Energy?
Here’s a look at the most important benefits, apart from avoiding environmental disasters.
Lots Of Economic Benefits. Because Canada (and many other nations) has been dependent on fossil fuels for so long, it needs infrastructure to harness other forms of power. For example, hydroelectric dams need to be constructed to create electricity. That means jobs, jobs and more jobs! People who may have once worked in the oil industry can be trained for these kinds of employment opportunities.
A reduction Or Elimination Of Air Pollution From Energy Sources. Clean energy, such as solar power, means no releasing of greenhouse gasses, such as carbon monoxide, into the atmosphere. They are the primary contributor to global warming, so finding a reliable source of energy that stops emitting greenhouse gasses (GGH) is vital if we are to stop the warming of our planet.
Renewable Means Recyclable
A shift to wind and solar power means we would no longer be tapping into finite resources, such as gas and oil deposits. Harnessing the sun’s power gives the opportunity for an infinite power supply at a lower cost. One crucial aspect is the innovative diversification of power plants so that there is enough for our needs long into the future.
Benefits Of Each Type Of Clean Energy:
We may think of wind power as something very new and oh so 21st century, but in fact, it’s been around for centuries!A generator is attached to a windmill, which turns and then creates power. It is a type of clean energy that has long been advocated by environmentalists the world over. Over the past centuries, many farmers have used wind power to operate grinders for their grains. That is just one application; forecasters see many other ways in which wind power can be used in the future.
The sun’s limitless energy is collected and used to do many things, such as heating homes, water tanks, and large buildings. Green energy experts foresee a day when solar panels will power whole communities in one location.Think of the small garden solar lamps you may have now in the backyard – one day, the very same principles may be employed to heat your whole house or your entire town!
The Future Of Clean Energy:
Did you know that, in June 2020, the United Kingdom ran totally on clean energy for two months straight? It did, which is rather astounding, considering Britain once was reluctant to give up its dependence on coal and joined the movement toward green energy somewhat later than other nations.More and more countries are now agreeing that the future must be powered by green energy. Unfortunately, many nations are still heavily dependent on oil and gas, and it won’t be easy – or quick – to reverse course.For example, at the recent climate change conference held in Glasgow, Scotland in the fall of 2021, China and India would not agree to stop their dependence on oil by a particular date; they agreed only to lessen it.Other nations were disappointed, as was the entire environmental movement. Spokespeople like Sweden’s Greta Thunberg were extremely vocal with their criticisms of world leaders, saying enough was not achieved at the conference.On the bright side, political leaders all around the globe realize that their popularity rests, in large part, on their actions regarding climate change and green energy. It is no longer enough for them to talk about future actions – citizens are demanding action now. Most especially, young people are not satisfied hearing their parents and government officials say the problems will be resolved eventually.
What Can You & Your Family Do?
People sometimes feel that the climate crisis is just too big to tackle, and they wonder what, if anything, they can do to help, other than supporting the green energy movement when it’s time to cast your ballot.Supporting politicians who support the shift to clean energy is one significant way you can help, but there are others. In short, there is a lot that you as a family can do!
Here Are Some Tips:
1- Consider Buying an Electric Vehicle
If you must have a car to get to work and get the kids to and from school and other activities, why not buy an electric vehicle the next time you’re in the market for a new car? Many governments encourage citizens to do so by offering significant rebates on their purchases and even tax credits for choosing an electric vehicle. Moving away from gas-powered cars is an essential step in the move toward clean energy.
2- Replace Your Oil Furnace
Even if you can’t afford to have solar panels installed or aren’t practical because of your home’s construction, you can still help by choosing to have a high-efficiency gas furnace installed. It’s cheaper and less harmful to the environment than an oil furnace.
3- Set Up a Composter – & Use It Faithfully!
Are you wondering what this has to do with clean energy? Well, every time you reduce the garbage in your weekly pickup, you reduce the amount of waste your family puts into landfills. It’s all part of the movement toward a cleaner environment, and it makes a difference!Plus, you’ll have rich nutrients for your garden when planting time comes in the spring. Check out your local municipality’s website; many offer free composters and will even help you set it up and show you how to use it.
The movement to green, clean energy is gaining momentum all across the globe. All countries, including Canada, must commit to replacing their dependence on fossil fuels with clean energy and help those in that industry make the change to new jobs in green power.Scientists and climatologists say we have until approximately 2050 to stop the planet’s irreversible damage, but some believe that the worst could happen much sooner.Regardless of who is right, is it by 2035 or 2050 we must make the switch? The point is this: clean energy is better for the planet, better for our children and us, and therefore better for all. We simply have to commit to the change, do everything we can as individuals and prod our politicians to do the same. Together, we can win the battle against environmental damage and implement clean, green technologies.