In a world where we are constantly trying to minimise our environmental impact and protect the precious resources that we have, one of the things that we hear a lot about is the concept of green energy. Competing energy companies will often use their green edgy credentials to encourage us to switch our accounts or stay loyal to them, but what exactly is green energy? Is there such a thing or are we all just being spun a clever marketing line? In this article we take a look at what green energy actually means in practice.
What is green energy?
The concept of green energy is to find alternative sources of energy that reduces the world’s reliance on fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas. So in practice, green energy is energy that is sourced from renewable sources such as sunlight, wind, water, plants and algae, and geothermal heat. Where fossil fuels are finite, green energy is generated from renewable sources so can be constantly replenished. The other factor to be considered when talking about green energy is that their production and use creates less pollutants than the equivalent amount of energy generated from fossil fuels.
How does green energy work?
One of the confusing things about green energy is that from a consumer perspective, it looks and feels very much like traditional energy derived from fossil fuels. This is because green energy is produced and fed into the standard energy grid from which your provider then delivers you the energy you need for your home. At this stage most providers will offer you the option of including a component of green energy in your pricing, so often you will be paying a premium to encourage your provider to source more green energy and this will be reflected in your service contract with your energy provider.
How is green energy created?
Australia is one of the countries at the forefront of creating projects to increase the amount of green energy available to consumers. Many of these projects are overseen by the body known as the Australian Renewable Energy Agency which funds renewable energy projects, supports research and development activities, as well as investing in research and sharing knowledge. Projects that are currently supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency include Bioenergy Projects; Geothermal Energy Projects; Hybrid Technology Projects; Hydropower Projects; Ocean Energy Projects; Renewable Energy Industry Capacity Building Projects: and Solar Energy Projects. With the amount of sunlight and open space that Australia has it is understandable that solar energy is seen as a big opportunity to create a sustainable source of green energy for the future.
Because green energy is hard to see as a consumer, it can sometimes be difficult to understand why the continued investment in green energy is so important. The important thing about green energy is that it is renewable – the sooner we can switch completely to green energy then the sooner we can ensure that we have a sustainable future.