Green energy or clean energy refers to electricity that is 100 percent renewable energy sources such as wind, water power etc.Everyone leaves their mark on our planet – in the 21st century we are more aware of this than ever. In view of the increasing global population density and dwindling fossil fuel resources for energy supply, renewable energies and sustainable economies are therefore occupying an increasingly important place in our civilization. The energy transition is of great importance not only economically but also ecologically and determines the future of our planet. But what exactly is this green energy or clean energy ? We have summarized everything you need to know about the energy transition and efficient green energy systems for you. You will also learn everything about sustainable technologies that will have completely replaced obsolete systems such as coal and nuclear power in just a few decades.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GREEN ENERGY AND FOSSIL FUELS?
So-called green energy or clean energy refers to systems for energy supply that are inexhaustible and do not damage nature sustainably. The model radically opposes the typical energy supply of the 20th century: The creation of fossil fuels such as oil takes millions of years, while renewable energies already have their greatest advantage in their name – green power plants get their energy from renewable or completely inexhaustible sources such as sun and water power , Wind, geothermal energy and biogas. Coal power is not one of the sustainable energy sources as the power plants produce large amounts of CO2 and thus increase the greenhouse effect and cause smog.
HOW LONG HAS RENEWABLE ENERGIES EXISTED?
The basic principles of renewable energy were known long before the invention of the first internal combustion engine and European industrialization. A historical example of nature-friendly energy generation are classic windmills and water mills that use natural forces to grind flour. Biomass such as animal feed for the supply of pack animals and wood from Eco-friendly cultivation are also classic regenerative energy sources. During the industrial revolution of the 19th century, these relatively inefficient technologies were superseded by coal power and later oil and gas.
THE PITFALLS OF INDUSTRIALIZATION
Even before industrialization, there were considerations about the possible finiteness of raw materials such as gas and oil, but the more efficient fossil energy ultimately prevailed. At the end of the 19th century, more and more scientists and economists were discussing the limitation of fossil fuels – in view of the advanced technology, essayists like Max Weber equated the end of fossil fuels with the end of modern civilization. The greenhouse effect, which can be proven to be attributable to global energy policy, and the ecological pollution caused by fine dust further stimulated the discussion. It was not until the second half of the 20th century that European and American researchers developed technologies for central energy supply with renewable energies.
THE MOST IMPORTANT CRITERIA FOR GREEN ENERGY:
- No limitation of resources
- Residue-free combustion (no emission of fine dust / CO2)
- Nature friendly technology
- Doesn’t limit the energy needs of future generations
IS GREEN ENERGY REALLY SUSTAINABLE?
Many of the problems in our society today arose from the capitalist growth concept of the 19th and 20th centuries. Up until the 1970s, companies around the world put profit first and neglect the conservation of nature and resources. But what exactly is sustainability in the context of green energy? Not all green.There is no limit to the amount of resources that can be extract – raw materials such as wood and biogas have to be generate again and again. Forest and pasture areas, in turn, take up natural habitat, which is also only available to a limited extent. It seems that 100 percent sustainability is not so easy to achieve in a world with over 7 billion people. In order to be able to use the new technologies in the best possible way, European pioneers rely on a mix of different decentralized energy systems for nationwide power supply.
IT’S ALL IN THE MIX
We can only make our energy supply sustainable with the help of regenerative technologies. In the next 20 years, the advancing digitalization will change our lives significantly: Humankind needs more and more energy, while fossil resources are dwindling. Thanks to sustainable systems, we can meet the growing energy needs in cities and in rural areas without having to keep looking for new resources. Inexhaustible energy sources and biomass should be used in a balanced ratio so that neither land nor air are damaged by over-management.
BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR FUTURE ENERGY SYSTEMS:
- High security of supply
- Energy generation from sustainable resources
- Low risk of environmentally harmful incidents
- Nature-friendly energy generation
HOW WILL ENERGY POLICY CHANGE IN THE FUTURE?
Progressive countries such as Germany, Denmark and Canada are considered pioneers of the energy transition and are already generating up to 30% of their electricity supply from renewable sources. In addition, wind parks and wave power plants are efficient methods of generating energy in Northern Europe. Near the equator, huge solar fields arise in the sunniest places on earth. Solar panels on house roofs are part of the normal cityscape in Germany, just like farms with biogas systems in the countryside. In the coming decades, the technology for generating green electricity will become more and more affordable – private users and companies will make the switch to nature-friendly energy supply easy. After a few years, the switch is also financially worthwhile.
HOW WILL THE JOB MARKET CHANGE THROUGH GREEN ENERGY?
Specialists from all over the world are already in demand in the energy sector. According to statistical calculations, the energy transition will create around 40 million new jobs by 2050 – from simple technicians and plumbers to qualified engineers and scientists, almost all subjects and training levels are in demand. In comparison, the entire energy sector only offered 19 million jobs worldwide in 2015. Photovoltaics in particular will cover more than half of the world’s energy needs as early as 2050. With additional measures such as plants for the generation of bioenergy and wind farms, global energy generation could be emission-free in just a few decades.
WHAT TYPES OF GREEN ENERGY ARE THERE?
Renewable energies are divided into inexhaustible energy systems such as solar energy, ocean energy and wind power, and the generation of energy through the combustion of rapidly renewable raw materials. Thanks to advanced technologies, almost any form of biomass and any natural power can also be used as a source of green electricity.
LIST OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS:
- Solar energy or photovoltaics – conversion of solar heat
- Hydropower – conversion of wave kinetics, rivers, ebb and flow
- Wind power
- Geothermal energy – conversion of geothermal energy
- Bioenergy (biogas)
HOW DO YOU GET GREEN ENERGY FROM WASTE?
A lot of usable energy in the form of carbon is stored in organic residues such as liquid manure, plant residues and sewage silt. Complex fermentation processes in closed gas containers with methane bacteria then produce a gas made of methane and carbon dioxide. The gas is then converted into electricity and heat in combined heat and power plants. The CO2-neutral form of energy generation produces useful by-products that can be used as fertilizer or used in industry. Organic fats and food residues as well as liquid manure are the most efficient biogas suppliers – however, the largest amounts of green energy are obtained from plant residues from rapidly growing plants and cuttings.
ALL ADVANTAGES OF BIO-GAS AT A GLANCE:
- Renewable energy with unlimited resources
- CO2-neutral disposal of organic waste
- Additional source of income for farmers and communities
- Produces heat and green electricity
- More independence from electricity imports through decentralized use
- Cheap installation and maintenance
- Can use in urban and rural areas
WATER TREATMENT AND POWER GENERATION IN ONE
Recyclable biomass is find in many waste products such as cow dung and sewage. Modern sewage treatment plants such as the DAU GmbH systems are therefore upgrading and generating the energy required to purify the wastewater independently. Our everyday wastewater contains many usable nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen. The raw materials can extract and recycle. In addition, the organic material contained in the wastewater serves as a raw material for biomass to generate energy. The expansion of existing sewage treatment plants not only ensures clean water, but also provides green energy.
HOW CAN PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS AND COMPANIES USE GREEN ENERGY?
In contrast to power plants for fossil energy and nuclear power, green energies can be installed decentrally and safely. In addition, many modern properties are independent of the central power grid and are self-sufficient with electricity and heat.
GREEN ENERGY IN THE HOME
Germany is one of the pioneers in the global conversion from fossil fuels to green energy – wind and water power in particular is used in this country, but the construction of bio gas plants is also widespread. From underfloor heating to electrically powered cars, you can convert your household to 100% green energy today. Geothermal systems provide inexpensive heat from the earth’s interior, while solar panels with integrated batteries store green electricity on sunny days. Those who shy away from retrofitting or rent can use green electricity from private energy companies and thus set an example.
GREEN ENERGY IN COMPANIES
More and more corporations and small companies are recognizing the potential of renewable energies and are using the company’s internal energy transition to create a positive image. In addition, entrepreneurs take responsibility for their energy policy and the effects of the economy on people and nature. In addition to avoiding plastic waste, particulate matter and water pollution play a decisive role. With advanced biotechnology, companies can convert pollutants and organic waste into usable bio-energy.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GREEN ENERGY?
Renewable energies offer numerous advantages for people and the environment. In contrast to fossil fuels and nuclear power, however, by definition, green energy can be used indefinitely. The energy potential is also significantly higher than with fossil fuels, which are increasingly difficult to obtain and are subject to fluctuating market prices: For example, solar energy could generate many times the amount of energy required worldwide if it is expanded across the board in sunny areas. The expansion of wind farms, hydro-power plants and photovoltaic systems creates numerous new jobs. Similar to the beginning of industrialization, the modern energy transition towards green electricity is changing the global job market and people’s everyday lives.
GREEN ENERGY FOR SUCCESSFUL CLIMATE PROTECTION
Renewable energies are not only more efficient and easier to generate than fossil energies, they also make an active contribution to climate protection. In view of dwindling fossil resources, more and more energy companies are rethinking and then gradually implementing the energy transition. This then significantly reduces the particulate matter pollution in the cities and lowers CO2 emissions. In addition, both factors have a significant influence on the ongoing climate change – global species extinction and the warming of the oceans are demonstrably directly related to the increasing pollution of the ozone layer by CO2 and other pollutants. Green energy is completely CO2-neutral – when burning renewable bio-materials, for example, only as much CO2 is emit as
ALL THE ADVANTAGES OF RENEWABLE ENERGIES AT A GLANCE:
- Climate protection: Reduction of CO2 in the air and in the water
- Inexpensive electricity from decentralized sources
- Self-sufficient supply of private households and companies possible
- Almost unlimited potential
- Reduced particulate matter pollution
- Higher efficiency than fossil energy
- Heating without power plants with naturally dissipated heat (geothermal energy, heat as a by-product of fermentation processes)
- Usable for future generations
- Conserves limited resources
- No unusable waste products
- Low risk for people and nature
- Creates new jobs in the energy industry
- Long-term security of supply with a growing population
WHICH GREEN ENERGY IS THE MOST EFFICIENT?
The energy potential for green energy depends heavily on the area of application. Solar panels in sunny latitudes can generate significantly more solar energy than panels in cooler zones with fewer hours of sunshine. For the same amount of energy; significantly larger silicon panels are required in this country than on the southern hemisphere. The largest photovoltaic systems on earth are therefore built in desert areas. Renewable bio-energy is beneficial in industrial areas and in agriculture – waste is efficiently recycled. Offshore wind farms and hydro power plants for the energetic utilization of kinetic movements provide green energy on the coast at favorable conditions. In every climate zone, even smaller investments in renewable energies can quickly pay off.
HOW IMPORTANT IS GREEN ENERGY?
The definite finiteness of fossil fuels makes the global energy transition absolutely necessary in the long run. Economists and politicians, however, do not agree on how quickly the phase-out of nuclear, coal and oil energy should happen. In general, the earlier regenerative energies replace the power plants of the 19th and 20th centuries, the better the chances of effective climate protection. Our planet is in a critical phase and has been changing rapidly since the beginning of the industrial revolution. The CO2 store in fossils and the Arctic is release in the form of overloading our atmosphere. In order to preserve the earth’s biodiversity and protect natural habitats, the coal and oil phase-out should take place as soon as possible.
REASONS FOR THE RAPID ENERGY TRANSITION
- Increased CO2 levels in the air damage the ozone layer
- Particulate matter causes cancer and lung diseases
- Rising oil and gas prices on the world market
- Economic dependence on countries with large oil reserves
- Habitat restriction in the Arctic and on coasts
- Species extinction due to the ocean heating up
- Acidification of the oceans due to excessively high CO2 values in the air
RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR A PERMANENTLY HABITABLE PLANET
With the massive use of fossil fuels, humans triggered the greatest climate crisis since the last ice age 40,000 years ago. Without regenerative energy sources, human civilization as we know it today cannot survive. Even nature cannot adapt quickly enough to extreme climate change. Every step towards the widespread use of renewable energy is therefore also an investment in the future. Future generations, like us, should be able to enjoy the beauty and biodiversity of nature instead of having to reforest a barren planet. Even small steps such as the recycling of waste products in sewage treatment plants support this overarching goal. Without green electricity; life as we know it would no longer be possible in a few decades – if you switch today,
FURTHER CLIMATE PROTECTION MEASURES AS PART OF THE ENERGY TRANSITION
- Development of electric motors for vehicles
- Comprehensive insulation of external walls
- Reducing meat consumption
- Save energy
- Use of public transport
A DREAM OF THE FUTURE: GREEN ENERGY IN RESEARCH
The energy transition towards sustainable energy supply and the digitization of the health sector are the fastest growing economic branches of the 21st century. Entire courses of study are devote to researching new technology for the clean generation of green electricity. Converting waste into energy sources is a major research challenge. In addition, in scientific studies, the residual radiation in radioactive waste; which was previously unusable; was successfully used under laboratory conditions to generate green energy and the material was converted into ordinary lead. The sewage treatment plants set up by DAU follow a similar idea and convert waste products into green energy.