Is green energy really green?

Social Innovation Insight
3 min readJul 18, 2022

This year, people are suffering from a heatwave that they have never felt before: several countries in South America recorded temperatures over 44 °C (111 °F), and the dangerous heat spread to the Midwest, South, and the Plains of the United States, Japan saw the worst heatwave in 150 years, India has had the hottest March since 1901, high temperatures scorched northern and central China and other parts of the world. Overall, the heat wave has been felt across much of the world.

Image source: Pexels.com

Extreme weather is becoming more and more foreseeable and frequent, and it is believed that due to climate change with the influence of unresponsible human activities over the years, hence green energy is on the call, hope to reduce the consequences of future natural disasters, but is green energy really green?

First, what is green energy? It is energy generated from natural resources. Since we humans cannot harvest energy directly from nature without intervention, so how green the energy is, depends on the methods we use to harvest the energy.

Image source: Pexels.com

According to TWI Global, there are currently six types of ‘green energy’ available: 1, Solar Power — using photovoltaic cells that capture sunlight and turn it into electricity. 2, Wind Power — uses the power of the wind to push turbines to generate electricity. 3, Hydropower — uses the flow of water to produce energy. 4, Geothermal Energy — uses thermal energy that has been stored under the earth’s crust. 5, Biomass — uses wood waste, sawdust, and combustible organic agricultural waste to create energy. 6, Biofuels — it is produced from biomass and can be transformed into fuel such as ethanol and biodiesel.

Based on the different types, we can see that solar and wind are the greenest forms of energy compared to others, as others may require digging, burning, and breaking the current creature’s balance, which could produce more waste, pollution, and damage. In fact, wind energy is seen as the most efficient source of green energy with an 1164% return on its original energy input. And China is the leader in wind energy, with over a third of the world’s capacity ( 7,965 megawatt MW).

Image source: Pexels.com

We, humans, are still far behind in utilizing energy from nature as shown in the kardashev scale, which is a method of measuring a civilization’s level of technological advancement based on the amount of energy it is able to use, it was coined by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev in 1964. It shows that we are still struggling in the type I civilization, which is defined as one that can harness all the energy from its home planet, while others, type II (capable of harnessing the energy of the whole solar system) and type III ( harnessing energy at the scale of its own galaxy) are far beyond our reach.

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale

We could face more and more extreme weather and natural disasters in the near future, so is green energy enough to reduce its impacts or should we start to explore more options that enable us to harness all the energy on this planet, especially when we can turning floods, typhoons, earthquakes, volcanoes, and other disasters into a source of energy?

Edit by SOCIAL INNOVATION INSIGHT

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Originally published at http://soinnoinsight.wordpress.com on July 18, 2022.

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