The energy sources that are being used by dominant industries use fossil fuels and they have a negative impact on the environment. They also play a large part in global warming and climate change. The fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil and coal cause considerable harm when compared with sources of renewable energy to a large extent, polluting both air and water. Slowly but surely, they will damage public health and eradicate wildlife habitats with the hazardous greenhouse gas emissions.
It is necessary to understand the impact on the environment and climate change associated with renewable energy sources and green power technologies like wind power, solar power, geothermal power, biomass energy and hydropower.
The intensity of the impact on the environment will depend on a particular green power technology used along with several other factors. When we understand the environmental issues that are associated with each green power technology, we can begin to take necessary steps to minimize the impact on climate change and global warming.
The five green power technologies that have the potential to make this positive impact are the wind turbines that float, concentrated solar power, geothermal power, biomass gasification and tidal hydropower.
Operation of the floating wind turbines on a commercial level holds the key to unlock the wind power potential in areas where wind force is steadier and stronger. As against the standard offshore wind turbines that need concrete base erections in the sea bed, the floating wind turbines can be anchored in the sea bed with the help of a few cables only at areas which are about seven hundred meters deep, much like the offshore platform technology of oil and gas installations.
Researchers have discovered that there was a change in the climatic conditions around a wind farm in Texas as a result of the presence of the wind turbines. The first floating turbine has been built off the coast of Maine.
Concentrated Solar Power
This green power technology involves mirrors that are used to project sunlight on to a receiver which captures and transforms this solar energy into heat for the purpose of electricity generation. This type of technology is being used for the last three decades and more. During the past few years, this green power technology has emerged stronger with molten salt techniques and innovative solutions for thermal storage.
Solar power provides considerable resources for the generation of sustainable electricity without the toxic pollution of the environment or the global warming emissions.
This green power technology has an answer to the requirements concerning protection of the environment and sustainable development. It harnesses the natural heat from the earth and it is a source that works without cessation. Geothermal energy is clean and its resources range from shallow ground to hot magma rock and hot water found miles under the surface of the earth.
Geothermal heat pumps can tap the resources from the shallow ground to provide heat to the buildings or cool them when necessary. They work on a heat exchanger and an air delivery system of pipes that are buries in the shallow ground near the buildings. Wells are also drilled into the reservoirs underground for electricity generation. The direct use applications include heating of buildings, growth of plants in greenhouses and various other industrial processes.
This green power technology converts biomass to combustible gas and uses it for the generation of power. This technology has emerged as a vehicle for conversion of available biomass waste into clean energy. A biomass gasification plant uses a gas conversion system to convert solid biomass into combustible gas which is clean. This is done with the help of processes which are thermo-chemical and they involve drying, gasification and pyrolysis stages.
Bioenergy possesses the potential to replace fossil fuels and, thereby, reduce the impact on climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide during biomass gasification.
Flowing water has the power to create energy which can be captured and transformed into electricity. This process is known as hydropower. A common example of hydropower is one that uses a river dam to store water in reservoirs. Water which is released from these reservoirs through a turbine activates a generator for the production of electricity. A whole range of devices that include offshore floats, pitching devices and buoys and oscillating water columns along with underwater turbines have been developed recently to generate electricity from tides and waves of the ocean, giving rise to the tidal hydropower segment of the green power technology. These underwater turbines carry the potential of tidal hydropower generation.
Tidal power cannot get depleted like the fossil fuels can. The tidal forces are due to the gravitational interaction of the earth with both the moon and the sun and tidal power will last as long as these two celestial bodies exist.
Why are the Green Power Technologies essential?
For the next few decades, it will be the wave of the green power technologies as they will be the perfect choice for renewable energy. They will be essential as they provide clean energy. The equipment they use will not be resource-consuming to generate power and there will be no danger of any hazard to our environment.