The use of solar energy to generate clean electricity is part of the global green energy movement. Greenpeace is one of the leading environmental organizations advocating for green energy worldwide.
Green energy is also known as renewable energy or as the ‘alternative energy’ to the current conventional non-renewable fossil fuel energy. Non-renewable energy is the primary cause of pollution in the world today due to the carbon emissions that are heating up the planet.
Green energy is also called ‘clean energy’ since it is non-polluting, free and renewable. This kind of power includes solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and hydropower.
Solar energy converts the sun’s rays through the photovoltaic cells that capture sunlight and converts daylight into electricity. The solar panel is attached to an inverter that generates photovoltaic power (PV), also known as concentrated solar power (CSP). Solar energy is the most widely used green energy mode on this planet.
Wind energy is the use of wind flows in open spaces to generate electricity. Wind turbines are installed on-shore or offshore, and the force of the wind turns the blades of the turbines. A generator attached to the turbine creates electricity. One turbine can reportedly power about 3,000 homes.
Geothermal energy is another form of renewable energy that comes from hot rock from beneath the earth’s surface. Steam coming from underground hot water is captured and converted into electricity. The planet earth is abundant of geothermal energy due to the presence of many volcanoes in different parts of the globe. Volcanoes are sources of molten rock or magma.
Biomass is derived from plant and animal matter which in turn is burned to generate heat and produce energy. Biomass is a form of recycling which is considered green energy.
Hydropower is the utilization of water movement to generate electricity. Examples are the hydroelectric power plants constructed along a river system. Water from a high elevation source flows down by gravity and is harnessed by the turbines of the power plant to produce electricity.
Sea waves are now being used on an experimental basis to power generators underneath the oceans. The potential of harnessing the movement of the sea to produce electricity will accelerate the use of green energy.
Green energy, if fully utilized will save our future, since it would prevent the overheating of the planet by minimizing the use of non-renewable polluting energy such as oil. Solar has become the prime example of the success of the use of green energy since there are now solar-powered homes, solar-powered cars and trains, and even solar-powered aircraft.
With less dependence on fossil fuel, we can create a new world where air and water pollution are at its lowest, and where the cost of electricity can be significantly reduced, thereby allowing economies to survive better.
One of the continents benefiting from the use of green energy is Africa where, starting in 2009, 17% of its power generating capacity is made up of renewables. And the trend is increasing.
Solar Aid reports that as of 2015, the global investment in renewables was at 198 billion pounds which indicates that green energy will become the mainstream source of energy by 2020.