Generated without emitting pollutants, clean energy produces minimal environmental impact, being classified as any renewable energy. Clean and accessible energy has been occupying a greater space in society, being offered at increasingly attractive prices, contributing to sustainability and economy. In this article we will provide you examples of clean energy.
For a long time we used the conventional type of energy and considered it the only way to generate electricity for our residence or establishment. However, currently with the help of new technologies, it is possible to implement clean energy systems that also contribute to saving the electricity bill. Shall we know a little more about it?
Clean electricity is electricity that does not emit pollutants into the atmosphere, that is, it does not present harmful factors to nature and, also, generates a minimal impact on the area where it is installed, contributing to the sustainability of the planet.
What is clean energy?
Clean energy is any renewable energy, that is, generated without the emission of pollutants, with minimal damage to nature, such as solar energy, wind and water energy, for example.
The importance of using clean energy to generate electricity has been gaining more and more visibility, as it helps to reduce the greenhouse effect and global warming, among other benefits.
Despite this, nowadays fossil fuels are still used in our country for the generation of energy , which include resources such as oil, diesel, natural gas, shale and mineral coal. These contribute to various harms such as deforestation, pollution and among others.
What is a clean energy source?
Clean energy sources are any raw material that does not emit pollutants into the atmosphere and generates minimal environmental impact, therefore, it does not present harmful factors to nature, such as hydro, solar, wind, geothermal, tidal and biomass energy.
What are the clean energy sources?
The sources of clean electricity are: hydropower, wind power, solar power, tidal power and geothermal energy , while the main clean energy substitute for petroleum is biomass energy.
The main source of energy used , hydraulic energy works from the generation of energy by the force of the falling water in the dams of the rivers, moving the turbines.
However, in regions that have periods of drought, a decrease in production may occur, also increasing the value of the electricity bill. In addition, hydraulic energy causes environmental impacts in the installation area, which harms the local flora and fauna, and displaces residents of the region.
In the case of wind energy, the force of the wind is used to generate electricity through wind turbines, equipment used for conversion in a simple, fast and non-polluting way. Even so, it is considered a good option for installation in places that have good winds and the conventional power grid is not enough.
However, turbines have noise pollution because they make a lot of noise, which is one of the disadvantages of this technology, in addition to the bird mortality rate and increase in the average local temperature.
The energy originating from sunlight is captured through solar panels and converted by the solar inverter (from direct current to alternating current) of the photovoltaic system. Therefore, solar energy is considered a viable option, since its natural resource operates every day, only with a smaller capacity on rainy days.
Despite this, its acquisition cost is still quite high and there are not enough government incentives to increase the implementation of photovoltaic systems in homes and establishments.
The generation of energy produced by biomass energy is produced from the burning of organic materials such as sugarcane bagasse, wood and vegetable oils. In this way, biogas is made by converting organic waste into gas, as an energy source, while biofuel is generated from the transformation of agricultural products into fuel. However, there are some disadvantages in this type of energy source, such as its generation that interferes with water consumption and the occupation of places that could be used for food cultivation.
The tidal energy is produced from the tides or ocean currents, which are generated in a sustainable way, requiring only a power station close to the oceans. It is mainly used for energy supply in cities close to the coast, but it does not allow constant production, since the tidal cycle is irregular.
Nuclear energy has uranium and thorium as resources for power generation. But, contrary to what many think, its process is not similar to that of fossil fuels, since they do not release greenhouse gases, although they carry a high risk of nuclear accidents. In addition, nuclear energy acts independently of climatic factors and has a higher cost.
Geothermal energy operates from the passage of a fluid through the hot zone, which is then heated to convert it into steam. In this way, steam, which has a high internal energy, is used through a turbine to convert it from mechanical energy to electrical energy.
It is widely used in everyday life, such as generating electricity for air conditioning in the summer, heating in the winter, heating water, generating electricity in power plants and energy for industries. However, there is not a wide production of this type of energy.
How important is clean energy?
Clean energy contributes to the use of renewable sources. In addition to the resources used being available for future generations, clean energy does not cause impacts such as the increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, does not emit greenhouse gases and does not aggravate global warming.
Clean energy contributes to the population’s quality of life, considering that the non-burning of fossil fuels does not generate polluting gases or residues harmful to health and helps to preserve the environment.
Clean energy: Advantages and disadvantages
Clean energy offers numerous advantages, above all because it does not emit pollutants in its production, leading to the decarbonization of the process through clean, sustainable and inexhaustible energy. In addition, renewable sources, when used for the generation of electricity, contribute to making the country autonomous in this sector and also to the creation of more jobs.
Despite the many benefits provided by clean energies , they also have certain disadvantages, but still bring more benefits to nature than fossil energies. Among these disadvantages are the high costs to invest in the necessary infrastructure and the lower efficiency in relation to some types of generation by polluting sources.
In the case of wind and hydroelectric energy, we can cite noise and soil degradation as aggravating factors, respectively.
How is clean electricity generated?
Clean electricity is generated from renewable or non- renewable natural resources, whether by the movement of water, the force of the wind, the capture of sunlight, organic materials, the force of ocean currents or by fluids from the warm zone.
Each clean energy source has its particularity and generates electricity in a simple, efficient and non-harmful way to nature and the installation site.
10 examples of clean energy
For thousands of years, biomass energy has been used to give us heat and cook, through the burning of wood. However, there are other organic materials, such as agricultural and forestry residues, manure and plants , that have been used industrially to produce biomass energy.
Typically, these materials are burned in a controlled environment to produce compost, home heating, and, in some cases, electrical power. You can learn how biomass energy works by following this link .
Biogas is generated from the decomposition of biomass (animal and vegetable waste). However, unlike biomass, this energy source is not created through combustion, but through the disintegration of waste by the action of microorganisms in a controlled environment (anaerobic digestion).
Biogas is used to generate heat, as fuel for vehicles or to generate electricity .
This type of energy is obtained from the movement of air masses . With the use of self-generators, whose operation is similar to that of windmills, it is possible to generate electricity.
The wind turns the blades of these machines to produce mechanical energy , which is converted into electrical energy by the action of an internal generator called “roto”. Learn how wind energy works in this link .
Sunlight is one of the best alternatives to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Photovoltaic energy from the sun can be captured by solar panels that transform it into continuous electrical energy .
This energy is then converted to alternating current to be sent to a national electricity supply network. Another alternative is the use of solar collectors to increase the temperature of the water naturally.
5-Hydroelectric or hydraulic power
Hydroelectric power uses the force of falling water to activate a system of turbines that generate electrical current.
Generally, this energy uses the flow of rivers or artificial dams are simply installed to store the water and create a closed cycle of the vital liquid. During the process, no greenhouse gases are produced . L
Also known as “tidal energy”, this type of energy is generated from the gravitational movement of the Sun and the Moon , and can be obtained through the installation of dams or underwater generators.
In both cases, the force of the tides turns the turbines to produce electricity . The process is environmentally friendly and has no major influence on the ocean ecosystem. .
This source of energy is generated by the difference in temperature that exists between the superficial marine areas, where the water is warmer, and the deep (cold) waters.
A heat engine uses this temperature difference to activate a generator, which produces electricity.
Did you ever think that the mixture between fresh and salt water would generate energy? Osmotic energy is created from the difference in salinity between river water and sea water .
To produce electrical energy, a turbine is used that is activated automatically by the pressure difference between both types of water.
The production of this energy is based on the use of electrical current to separate oxygen from water and generate hydrogen , a process known as electrolysis.
If the electricity used during this chemical procedure comes from clean sources, the hydrogen generated will be free of carbon dioxide emissions .
This source of energy is born in the depths of the earth’s surface , where the heat is enough to turn turbines and produce electricity. In essence, water and other liquids are heated naturally by the action of magma (molten rocks), to pass to a pumping system in which the heat is used.