In an ever changing world, protecting the environment has become a necessity. As we become more aware on our environmental impact, understanding how to harness the power of renewable resources is extremely valuable. Renewable resources, also known as Green Energy, are incredible options for continuing a commitment to sustainability.
What Is Green Energy?
Green energy comes from renewable resources, that are naturally replenished on a human timescale. These resources include sunlight, wind, rain, tide, waves, and geothermal heat. There are many forms of green energy, but some of the most common are listed below.
Types of Green Energy
Sunlight provides a clean source of energy called solar power. We can convert the radiation from the sun into usable electricity. The most common way to use sunlight as a form of electricity is by using solar panels. Solar panels are made up of many photovoltaic cells. When sunlight hits these panels an electrical current is created and passes through an inverter. This changes it to an alternating current that can power homes, commercial properties, or be added to the grid.
Wind energy actually begins with the sun as well. Wind happens because of the distribution of hot and cold air in the atmosphere is uneven. Wind turbines are the most common method for harnessing the power of the wind. The turbines work like a giant windmill. The rotor of the turbine spins a generator which in turn creates electricity. This form is usually found on farms and are not necessarily an individual option
Hydroelectric power is versatile and can be used to harness electricity in many ways. The most common method is dams, but there are also underwater turbines. Dams work by having an incoming water flow that goes through internal turbines that creates pumped-storage hydropower.
Geothermal heat is heat that is trapped beneath the crust of the Earth that is created from radioactive decay. Naturally occurring geothermal energy is produced by eruptions of volcanos or geysers. We can produce this energy with a heated water pump that can power turbines.
Benefits of Using Green Energy
Green energy provides an abundant amount of clean resources for our world. As an individual, the most practical use of green energy is solar power. Below is a list of the many benefits of using solar power for your home.
- Reducing Carbon Footprint
You can reduce your carbon footprint by choosing to go solar. By choosing a clean source for your electricity, you dramatically decrease the demand for fossils fuels and limit greenhouse gases. By going solar you can eliminate the same amount of carbon emissions as burning over 5,000 pounds of coal each year.
- Saving Money on Electricity Bills
Solar panels make electricity for you and you do not have to rely on the power created from the grid. Solar will make you bill decrease, or maybe even non-existent, because your meter will not be running.
- Increased Value of Property
Installing solar on your home can potentially increase the value of the home by up to 4.1%. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, homes with solar panels sell 20% faster than homes without solar.
- Huge return on investment
Solar users will see an average 20% return on investment in the first year. Most of our customers pay off their solar system in seven years and their system will be effective for 25 years. That means you will break even on your system and have eighteen years of savings!
- Boost U.S. energy independence
The more we rely on renewable energy for electricity as a country, we will rely less on foreign imports of carbon based fuels. This means that our country will see greater economic and environmental stability.
- Protect yourself against rising energy costs
Going solar locks in a fixed cost for your electricity. Once your initial upfront costs are paid off, your energy costs will be predictable and lower. The sun is an energy source that will be free forever!