Definition and challenges of green technologies
Clean energy or green energy is a source of energy whose exploitation produces only negligible amounts of pollutants compared to other more widespread sources considered to be more polluting. The concept of clean energy is distinct from that of renewable energy: the fact that energy is being reconstituted does not imply that the waste of exploitation of this energy disappears, nor the opposite.
The following energy sources are generally cited as clean energy:
- Geothermal energy, high or low energy
- Wind power
- Hydroelectric power
- Solar energy
- Tidal energy, wave energy, tidal turbines, etc
- Animal traction (towing, etc.)
- Human propulsion
A heat pump is sometimes considered as producing clean energy, but depending on their performance and use (air conditioning, swimming pool, …), heat pumps can consume far too much electrical energy (compared to an alternative solution) to be considered a source of clean energy.
The status of nuclear energy as clean energy remains subject to debate. Indeed, if it has one of the lowest greenhouse gas emission rates, it generates nuclear waste whose disposal is not resolved. According to the current definition of waste, it is not a clean energy. But an electric car is considered clean even though the battery recharging can be done with nuclear power.
The cleanest energy being the one that is not consumed, negawatts are clean energy that produces no waste. Negawatt production is made possible through the development of energy efficiency and energy efficiency. That is why waste management services and clean energy goes hand in hand, as we want not just to reduce gas emissions, but also minimize waste creation and the pollution that comes with it.
The need to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energies is written on every site that talks about ecology and in the program of every politician who listens to whistleblowers. The term generally refers to giant wind turbines that sometimes line the roadside, solar panels or for some more knowledgeable people, the use of geothermal energy. But what are renewable energies really, and why are they preferable to fossil fuels?
Renewable energies are virtually inexhaustible energies. They come from natural elements, such as the sun, the wind, waterfalls, the heat of the Earth or even the growth of plants, among others. These renewable energies are qualified as flux energies as opposed to stock energies, those that are in limited quantities, namely fossil energies (oil, natural gas, coal).
Renewable energies are by definition preferable to fossil fuels since they are inexhaustible. They are also preferable since they are mostly clean, or at least cleaner than the combustion of fossil fuels.
The argument most often advanced is the cleanliness of these energies. Indeed, where fossil fuels are extremely polluting and dangerous both for the planet and for the health of its inhabitants, renewable energies often only serve in an almost inexhaustible reservoir of energy. The heat of the sun, the breath of the wind, the natural movement of the rivers …
In itself, these energies would be ideal, if they were properly mastered and already exploited. Today they represent only 20% of global energy consumption worldwide, so we live in a society much more adapted to the use of fossil fuels. As a result, they are much more complicated to exploit for the average citizen, and it has only been a few years since electric cars, to name a few, have their own charging stations. As the world has begun a slow, but safe transition to clean energy use, it will take more time to see them become easier to use.