Clean energy may also be called renewable energy or green energy, and it specifically refers to energy produced from renewable resources without creating environmental debt. There are several other ways that this term can be defined, however. It may refer to energy processes that pollute less or, alternately, to energy that doesn’t pollute at all and doesn’t use resources that can’t be easily renewed.
The basic forms of clean energy are often cited as those that come from water, wind, or sun (solar). In some cases, some manufacturing and use of coal is considered clean and called clean coal. This last is a matter of dispute among environmentalists.
It’s hoped that by using this type of energy, especially as a total substitute for use of things like oil, might help to reduce global warming and greenhouse gas emission, creating a safer planet for all inhabitants. In reality, clean energy has its problems too, which have not been fully realized because it is not a complete replacement for energy created by non-renewable resources. For instance, wind farms that can provide power can have significant effect on local bird populations, and birds of some types can face grave depletion of numbers when they live near wind farms.
Nevertheless, these negative consequences these tend to be relatively small in comparison to the use of petroleum or non-clean coal. Many environmentalists reason that, though no power source is completely without risk, green energy could have a wide reaching effect on healing the planet and perhaps stemming the tide of global warming. An additional reason why it can be so desirable is because it tends to come from sources that are free. While harnessing this energy costs money, wind and sun aren’t owned by anybody in particular.
This is not the case with energy sources like oil. Most of the oil deposits in the world are gathered in a few places, and the majority is located in the Middle East. Many who are proponents of creating clean energy sources say that dependence on oil in foreign countries creates a host of diplomatic problems. Countries may need to sacrifice in order to get the resources they need, or wars may be fought for this resource. There are many people who believe that wind or solar energy could lead not only to a cleaner planet, but also a more peaceful world.
Much remains to be done to figure out how to best harness renewable energy sources and how to use them to their best advantage. One issue is how to transport collected energy from one place to another, since many places that produce this energy are located in remote locations. Changing the power grid to accommodate different sources of energy can help this problem, but this has yet to occur on a wide scale.