Learn About Green Energy In Honor of St. Patrick’s Day!
When most people think of Saint Patrick’s Day, they think green. Green clothes, green decorations, green shamrocks - even eating green eggs and ham and drinking green beer have become part of the tradition for many folks. But this year, why not celebrate with a different kind of green - renewable “green” energy?
It may be a bit of a symbolic connection, but renewable energy does help make the planet a little greener - including the rolling hills of Ireland. But renewable energy (and the technology behind it) is often misunderstood. So this article will answer a few of the most frequently asked questions about green energy!
What Kinds of Renewable Energy Are There?
Solar power involves converting the sun’s rays into electricity or heat. This is one of the most popular clean energy sources used in residential settings. Wind power utilizes blowing winds to rotate a turbine, which in turn powers an electric generator. Although more of a large-scale solution, small wind turbines can be installed in residential areas, local codes permitting.
Hydropower is similar but uses flowing water to spin the turbines rather than air. Hydroelectric dams have been a major contributor to America’s energy grid since the mid-20th century - but some rural properties with streams may be able to utilize small-scale hydropower. Biomass involves converting plant matter into energy, typically by burning it. Using recycled plant waste or sustainably managed forests is an effective form of clean energy.
Geothermal power utilizes heat from below the earth’s surface to provide electricity or heat. More and more homeowners are using geothermal heat pumps as a more energy-efficient method for heating and cooling their homes.
What Are the Advantages of Clean Energy?
There are many advantages and benefits of clean energy, the broadest of which is the positive impact it can have on the planet. Using cleaner, more sustainable energy sources (instead of fossil fuels) can help reduce the volume of greenhouse gases and other forms of pollution being released into the environment, minimize the negative effects of climate change, and protect local ecosystems.
Using green energy sources also has plenty of immediate, practical benefits. Many states and cities offer tax incentives and subsidies to homeowners who install solar panels or other alternative energy systems on their property. Having renewable energy systems in place also makes the homeowners less reliant on the local or national power grid, dramatically lowering utility bills and providing a safety net in case of local power outages.
Which Type of Alternative Energy Is Best?
It’s difficult to say which form of alternative energy is best - they each have their pros and cons, and context makes a big difference. Two of the most effective and widely-used types are solar and wind. They’re both capable of producing tremendous amounts of energy with minimal harm. Still, they are dependent on variables - days without wind or long periods of overcast skies can yield inconsistent results.
In terms of individual homes, solar power is generally the better option. It’s a little more reliable (especially in regions with plenty of sunny days), less expensive to install and can be less of an eyesore (many of today’s solar arrays are designed to look like ordinary roofing tiles or shingles). Wind power may be ideal for some rural properties with a lot of space, but many cities prohibit its use.
But homeowners would do well to explore the different options available to them - after all, when it comes to sustainable energy, every little bit counts!
About All Services
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