Green Energy

By | Feb 4, 2009

According to the British Council, offshore Welsh wind farms provide enough energy to power 100 000 British homes.  Wind power is relatively cheap (the machines last long enough to warrant their costs) and seems to provide a good, reliable source of energy.  Modern wind generators apparently are not even harmful to wildlife, as they rotate quite slowly.  This is ‘Green’ Energy.

Green Energy was one of the topics that President Obama discussed alot during his campaign.  His budget that he introduced at the end of January did, according to BBC, include $11 billion for green energy.  Reducing US energy dependence on ‘foreign’ (if you consider Alberta, Canada where most US oil comes from as ‘foreign’) oil has been a priority target for many politicans in the American political realms.  Obviously, this isn’t something done overnight.  To convert an energy grid heavily based on ‘dirty’ energy sources to clean and renewable sources is not an easy task.  It’s going to take a lot of research and development.

What exactly is green energy?  Green energy is renewable energy intended to provide little impact on the environment.  I’m no scientist- but green energy is making use of the world’s natural energy sources such as the sun, kinetic energy of waves, geothermal energy from the Earth’s crusts in a non-destructive way.  We must be careful about our terminology here.  Building a hydro dam may seem like a great idea, but to do so you are diverting a natural river and probably flooding non-inundated land.  That doesn’t sound low-impact to me.  Green energy, perhaps, involves a new approach entirely.

North American power tends to be generated in large, bulky facilities, and then transported hundreds of miles.  Who wants to live near a smelly power plant?  By comparison, I saw an image the other day (if I find it again I will provide a link) of a Vietnamese river that used a combination of what looked like plates and strings and things to generate power for the local village.  It was a low impact approach. 

Maybe the green energy solution might not be about replacing our power plants with some other form of power, maybe the solution may be a critical rethinking of power methodology.  Perhaps governments should invest in placing solar panels on every building, so each building contributes to the power network.  Maybe we’re hurting our own interests and resources by transporting electricity around so much.  I don’t know.

It is good to see green energy became a major priority of the United States – the nation that uses the most power and pollutes the most.  I would argue that our current energy practices are only sustainable to a certain point, at which point we have to change.  I don’t push the climate change theory – but I do push the idea of planning ahead so the lights turn on when we flick the switch.  I’m glad to see research and development being one on this issue, although I hope we don’t simply replace one bad option with another unsustainable option.

4 Comments so far
  1. Drink the Ocean : Ignorant Mouth February 19, 2009 8:58 am

    […] awareness will come as part of the solution: I see a world where every citizen will be involved in the production of power in ways that have a low impact to the natural […]

  2. […] invest that energy in our future, and so in the coming years we are going to have to learn new ways of powering our cities and our economies. We are going to have to learn to live more simply; large homes, multiple […]

  3. Anton Marsh July 29, 2009 12:29 am

    Nice post. Looks like wind power is really starting to get some serious consideration in Australia now.

  4. Gavelect January 14, 2010 12:13 pm

    This is more good news on the green energy front. It used to be a few times a year we heard of good green energy initiatives, then it was a couple a month, now it is every single day we are hearing of governments, large corporations, companies and gas electricity suppliers, announcing new initiatives, projects and schemes. By working together we can create a more sustainable, cleaner and safer world by making wiser energy choices.

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