These days one hears of green building, green architecture, green energy and one tends to ask; why is it green? Does it refer to just color or is there any other meaning to it. Let’s talk about energy and why it is called green.
Energy in itself has no color, so what do we mean by ‘green energy’. There seems to be no single or universal definition for it, though it has various interpretations. Is it called green because the color green is generally aligned with nature and so whatever is benign towards nature gets labeled ‘green’, in a rather generic way? However, there is a lot of agreement in labeling all forms of energy that is renewable, sustainable and environment friendly as ‘green energy’. Thus, energy produced by wind, water, sun and nuclear power, generally, come under this category.
Presently, energy derived from fossil fuels: coal, oil and natural gas fulfill the world’s needs, by and large, but there is an ever-increasing demand for more. The realization that these power sources are not infinite but are being depleted and the world could come to a situation, in which these would be totally exhausted, has fueled the critical need to find alternate sources and this has become the focal point of global research.
Nations are actively pursuing efforts at producing energy from wind, water and sun. Nuclear power has also been generated as an alternative source but the recent catastrophe in Japan has been a set-back. Technological advancements in extraction and production of ‘green energy’ from the various sources and the stringent safety norms that are mandated will help to provide clean and safe energy for the future.
Petrol, diesel and natural gas; all derived from fossil fuels have been used in all forms of transportation vehicles till now, but for how long? The research and investment into vehicles using hybrid fuel is catching on because nations and people have become aware of the damage to the environment caused, directly or indirectly, by the prolonged usage of fossil fuels.
Using ‘green energy’ has great benefits, and once technology to produce this energy achieves the required degree of perfection, environmental degradation will be minimal and we can leave a better world for our future generation. Unlike fossil fuels, ‘green energy’ sources are not extracted but harnessed. As a result there would be far less abuse of our environment.
‘Green energy’ is clean, affordable, as its production is cost effective in the long run; and the seed material is practically unlimited. However, this type of energy production has not reached such levels as to completely replace energy produced by fossil fuels. The extraction and subsequent usage of fossil fuels produce harmful emissions that cause global warming but with ‘green energy’ there is no such fear. But the road map is clear; it is the energy of the future.