For a while, there has been an unending push to improve the world’s electrification from supply to distribution. In recent years, there is a growing focus on “clean energy” and “green energy”. So much so that, in fact, those energy sources are now so economical they are competing with all the traditional means of burning fossil fuels to create power. Coal generated power is declining rapidly. Much of the recently added production capacity in the United States and many other countries is dominated by clean energy sources, mostly solar power and wind energy.
Here’s what that means.
Defining Clean Energy
There are a lot of terms used to describe these energy sources that are proving to be better than older, centralized mega-factories churning out electricity along with solids and gases into the air. Sustainable. Clean. Green. Renewable. For sure, they are the future.
Let’s get started:
What is clean energy? Clean energy is energy that is produced through methods that do not release greenhouse gases or any other pollutants. Clean energy can be generated from renewable sources like solar and air currents (wind energy).
What does renewable energy mean? To be renewable, an energy source should be limitless in supply and naturally regenerated.
But not all clean energy might be renewable energy. For example, geothermal power uses naturally occurring hot water sources, yet some of the ways it can be processed can have a negative impact on the environment.
The United Nations defines a sustainable energy source as one meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. For many, this makes sustainable energy synonymous with renewable energy.
Solar Power as Clean and Renewable Energy
The facts surrounding solar energy from manufacturing through its full lifecycle show why it is a primary option for clean renewable energy.
- Clean: Solar energy generates zero emissions of any kind during power production. On average, solar panels last 30 years, or more. As the earliest installed systems are approaching the age for removal and disposal, recycling is growing as viable business. From private waste management, to panel manufacturers, there are new recyclers starting up every day. So, from beginning to end of the solar lifecycle the environmental impact is negligible.
- Solar energy is abundant. So plentiful, it is truly limitless. By some calculations, there are173,000 terawatts of solar energy striking the Earth instantly. That’s more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use.
- It is the prime example of a sustainable source. If there were ever reason to question its future abundance, the world’s problems would be much greater than power supply!
Net Benefits of Clean Energy
Clean energy sources are important because of the net positive impact on human and animal health across the world. Fuel burning sources of power emit pollutants. The compounds exist in the air and in water supplies. Over decades, research has defined the negative health impact as a result. It includes the following:
Asthma, emphysema, and other breathing problems.
Exact Solar is proud of being a part of the solar revolution. On top of bringing solar power solutions to neighbors and local communities, we actively seek to better our world through participating in many other environmental and justice seeking programs and organizations.