The increasing demand for energy and energy resources is a natural result of the continuously growing human population. Consequently, considering clean sources of energy is crucial for protecting the environment and achieving greater longevity.
What is clean energy?
Despite some misconceptions, clean energy and renewable energy are not synonymous. While renewable energy refers to energy sources that regenerate and will not be depleted (e.g. biomass and solar energy), clean energy refers to renewable, zero-emission sources, and the energy saved via energy efficiency measures. In other words, not all renewable energy sources are clean, but all clean energy sources are renewable.
Sources of clean energy
- Sunlight: the richest, freely available source of energy on Earth.
- Wind power: another rich source of energy.
- Hydro/water power: more reliable than the former two and its energy can be stored more easily, which allows use on demand.
- Geothermal power: used for heating homes and generating electricity. It is not equally effective in all regions.
Why is clean energy important?
Over 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the energy sector. Therefore, decarbonizing the energy sector by using clean energy sources will help us achieve a low-carbon future. The main and most known advantage of this transition is with regards to the environment. This includes reducing air pollution and global warming, preserving natural resources, and reducing environmental disasters. However, a secondary, yet important advantage is with regards to the financial aspect. This includes reducing the need to import, extract, and transport fuels (e.g. oil), creating job opportunities to improve the clean energy production process, and with the world gradually shifting away from fossil fuel, the financial rewards associated with clean energy resources will likely increase. Furthermore, communicating to the end consumer that the energy produced from renewable energy is highly recommended. Thus, renewable certificates can certify the bearer of electricity generated from a renewable energy resource and act as a tracking mechanism for solar, wind, and other green energy sources that generate power. Energy companies can earn or trade renewable energy certificates such as Guarantee of Origin (GOs), which prove to the end consumer that the company is fighting against climate change. We believe that the shift towards clean energy sources will create a ripple effect on the community as a whole, as it is beneficial for all parties involved.