Published on Feb 28, 2024
Green energy is a term describing what is thought to be environmentally friendly sources of power and energy. Typically, this refers to renewable and non-polluting energy sources.Green energy includes natural energetic processes which can be harnessed with little pollution
The dominance of a single energy system inevitably leads to excessive burden on, and eventually weakening, a particular aspect of the environment, and can cause environmental fatigue and failure (permanent damage) or even catastrophe; and it inevitably results in the health and environmental risk. This is the case for our currently fossil fuel based energy system. It is shown that each energy system, including renewable and alternative fuels, has its own unique adverse impact on the environment, as dictated by the second law of thermodynamics.
A truly sustainable (or green) energy system may only be achieved with the diversification and localization of energy sources and systems if the adverse impact of each energy system is sufficiently small and well within the tolerance limit of the environment. Energy diversity and localization would also provide a security for the energy supply and distribution a specifically important issue in the light of blackout in parts of North America on August 14, 2003.
The idea of diversified energy systems for the good of humanity and environment is similar to many analogies in other fields, such as bio-diversity is the best means to prevent the spread and damage of disease and pests, and diversified investment is the best strategy to guarantee the overall best investment return. Therefore, a green energy system, or the diversification and localization of energy systems, is the best future energy systems that would be environmentally compatible, and allow for sustainable development and energy security.
In order to make an impact, individuals who sign up for green energy either obligate the utility companies to increase the amount of green energy that they purchase from the pool and subsequently decrease the amount of non-green energy they purchase, or directly fund the green energy through a green power provider. If insufficient green energy sources are available, the utility must develop new ones or contract with a third party energy supplier to provide green energy, causing more to be built.
Although there is no guarantee that turning on a light will mean that, say, a wind turbine is providing the electricity, by participating in green energy programs a consumer is having an effect on the energy sources used and ultimately is helping to promote and expand the use of green energy. They are also making a statement to policy makers that they are willing to pay a price premium to support renewable energy.
In some countries such as the Netherlands, electricity companies guarantee to buy an equal amount of 'green power' as is being used by their green power customers. The Dutch government exempts green power from pollution taxes, which means green power is hardly any more expensive than other power.
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