Posted on: May 12, 2022 Posted by: Jerry D. Pfeil Comments: 0

Clean Energy

Clean energy can reduce the carbon footprint of your home and business and reduce your energy costs. Solar power, for example, can have a payback period of fewer than four years under certain conditions and a service life that is more than 25 years.

What is it that makes an energy source clean

Two conditions are required for clean energy to be considered an energy source.

  • Renewable means that they are continuously replenished and not affected by consumption.
  • Zero emissions mean that energy production does not emit greenhouse gases or other air pollutants.

Energy efficiency has been deemed a clean source of energy by some organizations. It has the same effect as using renewable sources with zero emissions. If a group of buildings can save 500,000 kWh each month, this energy is available to other users without adding emissions.

What are some clean energy sources?

  • Wind energy
  • Solar energy
  • Hydroelectricity
  • Geothermal Energy
  • Biomass energy
  • Tidal energy
  • Wave energy

Note: Although some organizations list nuclear energy as a source of clean electricity, the subject is still controversial. Wind energy is one of the most environmentally friendly electricity sources. It has a carbon footprint of only 4 g CO2 equivalent for every kWh. Wind turbines also use a renewable resource that does not become exhausted with usage, natural wind currents.

Are clean energy and renewable energy the same thing?

Although these two concepts are frequently used together, they have distinct meanings.

Renewable energy sources can be used indefinitely because of their availability and rapid replenishment.

Renewable energy sources are sustainable and have a low environmental impact. Some forms of biomass energy, for example, produce high emissions levels. This means that they can be renewable but not clean.

Why are fossil fuels not considered clean energy?

Fossil fuels cannot be recycled: They take millions of years to make, so they can’t keep up with the demand.

Fossil fuels are high in carbon: To produce one kilowatt-hour, a coal-fired plant will usually produce more than 1,000 g of CO2, while a gas-fired plant will typically produce more than 400 g.

Which is the most cost-effective and cleanest source of energy?

Wind power and solar power are the most affordable electricity sources in many world areas.

Solar and wind projects that are the cheapest have costs below $30/MWh (or 3 cents/kWh).

As mentioned previously, the lifetime CO2 emissions from wind power are 4g per kilowatt-hour. Solar energy has a lower impact with 6g CO2eq/kWh. These figures include raw materials extraction, manufacturing, project construction, and direct emissions from power generation.

Some coal power plants offer electricity prices comparable to wind power and solar power. The generation cost for new coal power stations is approximately twice that of existing ones.

Is it possible to have clean coal energy?

However, carbon capture and storage technology (CCS) can reduce emissions. Even if CCS is 90% effective, coal power still has a higher environmental footprint than renewables.

Many coal power plants emit more than 1,000 g of CO2 per kilowatt-hour. According to Nature Energy, CCS could lower this figure to 109 g CO2 equivalent per kWh by 2050. This is still much more than the lifetime CO2 emissions from wind power (4g CO2eq/kWh) and solar energy (6g CO2eq/kWh).

Which is the cleanest form of renewable energy available?

Even renewable energy sources can impact the environment, which needs to be considered. This means that generation equipment must be manufactured. Raw materials must be extracted and processed. The components must be shipped to the project site and installed. This has an impact on the environment. Clean energy sources don’t produce any additional emissions while generating energy, and most of their environmental impact is made upfront.

Nature Energy published a study that analyzed lifetime emissions from several energy sources. This included the upfront emissions, such as raw materials extraction, manufacturing, transportation, and installation. Wind power is considered the cleanest form of renewable energy. However, it is still a controversial topic.

Energy Source Emissions (gCO2 eq/kWh)

Wind 4 g CO2 equivalent / kWh

Solar photovoltaic 6 g CO2 equivalent / kWh

Nuclear 4 g CO2 equivalent / kWh

Coal with carbon capture and storage (CCS). 109 g CO2 equivalent / kWh

CCS in natural gas 78 g CO2 equivalent / kWh

Hydroelectricity 97g CO2 equivalent per kWh

Bioenergy 98 g CO2 equivalent / kWh

The study assumes CCS technology will capture 90% of the emissions from coal power plants and gas power stations by 2050. These energy sources have a higher carbon footprint than they currently are.

 

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