May 292020
Sustainable Energy Definition – The 101
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Welcome to my Sustainable Energy Definition post!

First of all, I must congratulate you for taking the time to do your research on this topic of green living. Sustainable energy is an essential strategy against climate change. Here you will find out what it is, a comparison to our current energy sources, the benefits, examples of different types and how to live more sustainably. 

As a qualified teacher, I am passionate about education and the impact it can have on bettering our future. It is down to us individuals to do our research and make small changes to the way we live our lives. 

These small changes are easy to make and can have a big impact on our health, the health of our family and our environment. This website is designed for everyday people looking to make these changes. Here you will learn a legitimate way to go green. 

Let me be completely transparent with you, I am not here to pitch or sell anything to you. I am here to reveal and to assist you on your journey of going green! 

Current Energy Supplies...

Today, many people and industries in first world countries use fossil fuels to power their spaces, vehicles, machinery, cooking appliances, cleaning facilities, and gadgets. It is convenient to use fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and gas for meeting our energy needs, however, there are concerns regarding these methods. 

Fossil fuels are non-renewable sources of energy, meaning we have limited supplies of them. According to the EPA, fossil fuels will run out eventually if we continue to use them. This means our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will not have the power they need to live. 

Burning fossil fuels or the use of non-renewable energy resources release pollutants in the air, water, and soil. These pollutants take a toll on human beings and the environment. For example, air pollution is the leading factor in respiratory diseases like asthma. Nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxide acid rains can harm aquatic animals and plants. Nitrogen oxide also causes smog.

Fossil Fuels & Climate Change...

Worldwide, nearly a billion people lack access to electricity, and around 3 billion people use smoky fuels like wood, charcoal, or animal dung to cook. These and fossil fuels are a serious contributor to pollution, which causes an estimated 7 million deaths per annum. Production and consumption of energy emit over 70% of human-caused greenhouse emission emissions.

Burning fossil fuels adds to the levels of greenhouse gases in the air which trap the heat of the sun, and contribute to global warming. The rate at which the climate is changing is alarming. It is growing more and more each year. Because of this change in our environment, we are seeing more and more natural disasters. There are more floods, forest fires, droughts, heatwaves, and extreme weather conditions. 

11,000 scientists and experts in the environmental field from 153 different nations have declared a climate crisis. The climate crisis is here now and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It's more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and therefore the fate of humanity.

Sustainable Energy & it's Benefits...

Sustainable energy, also known as renewable energy, uses natural and replenishable sources. It will not run out so long as the natural source is available. It uses wind, sun, earth’s temperature, water, and plants. It is using energy in a way that meets our needs without compromising future generations' ability to generate their power.

Sustainable energy looks at providing energy sources that do not add to climate change, e.g. carbon-neutral sources, and some even reduce it, e.g. carbon-negative sources. They can slow down climate change and if used correctly could reverse it, enabling humanity to exist on Earth inevitably.

Sustainable energy helps people develop energy independence for societies and individuals. In 1937, the U.S used to import 34% of its oil. Today, the figure has risen to 50%, which is indeed a disastrous situation. Green alternatives would stop the need for importing energy. Alternatively, individuals can have renewable sources of energy, disposing of their independence of the power grid, which can have shortages. This contributes to our wellbeing and security.

Reduce Pollution...

Burning fossil fuels can generate nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which can lead to air pollution.

As a result, this would cause detrimental effects on our health by reducing the air quality. Sustainable energy can lower the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and some will even remove them. 

Conserving Natural Resources...

When you cut back on power use, you are helping to conserve natural resources. Less demand for power means less production of fossil fuels.

There are many small changes you can make to your everyday life, such as turning off lights, that will help conserve the wold's resources. This is particularly important right now as the majority of our power is generated from fossil fuels.

The more we convert over to sustainable energy sources, the greener the electricity grid will become. Tackling issues with the grid and power wastage will enable us to conserve our resources. 

Protect the Balance of Nature...

The use of non-green energy impacts climate patterns and depletes natural resources. The excessive use of energy can harm our ecosystem, animals, plants, birds, and other creatures. So much so, mining, logging, and extraction of materials associated with fossil fuel provision are damaging both land and ocean habitats.

Air pollution, induced by human actions, is the primary causing extinction in many species. It is now 1,000 times faster than the normal rate of extinction. Oil spills occurring during the transportation of fossil fuels can wreak havoc on aquatic species and destroy the balance of natural chemicals in oceans. This also poses threats for human beings when swimming.

A lot of water pollution in the U.S is caused by coal-fired power plants. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set regulations to decrease chemical dumping, yet power plants that produce toxic waste still exist. These regulations have not resolved the issues of chemical dumping. Stricter regulations or alternative sources could stop this. 

Reduce, Reuse & Recycle...

We need to reduce or eliminate the amount of fossil fuel we use to protect our health and the environment. This can be done on a small scale by thinking about the amount of power you use. Is it possible to share a ride to work tomorrow?

we need to find ways in which we can reuse the resources we have. Much of the organic waste we produce can be converted into energy, for example by the production of biogas.

Energy is used to make everything. Currently we are using fossil fuels. We need to recycle whatever we possibly can before disposing of items into landfills.

Recycle-Box

Potential Problems...

As of 2019, the prices of wind, solar, and batteries are projected to continue falling. Moderate amounts of wind and solar power, which are intermittent energy sources, are often integrated into the electrical grid.

However, the current power grid is inefficient and unreliable and is without appropriate infrastructure such as energy storage. Providing homes and businesses with sustainable and reliable energy is crucial but methods for doing so are largely debated.

Renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and hydroelectric energy are widely considered to be sustainable. However, renewable energy projects, like the clearing of forests for the assembly of biofuels, can cause similar or maybe even worse environmental damage in comparison to using fuel energy. But recycling everyday waste to create biogas on a small scale is a fantastic solution.

Meeting the world's needs is going to take careful consideration and collaboration. Achieving these goals would require government policies to be implemented worldwide, including carbon pricing, energy-specific policies, and phase-out of fuel subsidies.

Meeting the World's Needs...

We are in the midst of a climate crisis and energy needs in the world are expected to grow by over 28% by 2040. We need solutions and fast. Meeting the world's needs for electricity, heating, cooling, and power for transport in a sustainable way is widely considered to be one of the leading challenges facing humanity in the 21st century.

The suggested methods for limiting global warming to 1.5 °C describe a fast implementation of low-emission techniques and a transition towards more use of electricity in sectors such as transport.

The pathways also include measures to scale back energy consumption; and use carbon-neutral fuels, like hydrogen produced by renewable electricity or with carbon capture and storage.

It is important for us to know the different types of energy available and their advantages and disadvantages. This will enable us to make better informed decisions that will protect the future of the planet and humanity. 

Different Types of Energy...

  1. Thermal energy
  2. Chemical energy
  3. Nuclear energy
  4. Electrical energy
  5. Radiant energy
  6. Light energy
  7. Motion energy
  8. Sound energy

These are the eight types of energy. Using this knowledge, scientists have developed a range of different technologies which make use of these energies to power our homes, drive our vehicles, and make the world we live in possible.

Want to learn more about the different types of energy. Click the links to learn more about sustainable and unsustainable energy sources. 

Renewable Energy Overview...

Renewable energy is any natural resource that will replace itself quickly and dependably. Renewable energy sources are abundant, sustainable, and environmentally-friendly – making them an excellent choice for us humans and our planet!

Unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy sources won't ever run out, as they're constantly replenished regardless of what proportion we use. Natural sources, such as fossil fuels will eventually be gone if we continue to use them the way we do. But renewable sources will always be there.

Types of renewable energy:

  • Wind energy
  • Solar energy
  • Biomass
  • Hydropower
  • Geothermal energy

Non-renewable Energy Overview...

Non-renewable energy is a source of energy that will run out because we are using it much faster than the rate it is naturally produced. Most sources of non-renewable energy are fossil fuels, like coal, gas, and oil.

These natural resources are a serious source of power for a huge amount of industries – however, there are numerous downsides to non-renewable energy, including their negative environmental impact and therefore the fact they're in limited supply.

Types of non-renewable energy:

  • Coal
  • Oil
  • Natural gas
  • Nuclear energy

Sustainable Energy Definition: The Final Verdict!

Wrapping up, if we want to avoid, slow down or reverse the energy crisis, we need to refer back to green living and renewable energy.

It’s my honor to tell you about renewable energy, it's uses, benefits, financial advances, and how to protect your health and promote eco-friendliness, etc.

I will teach you how to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels and other energy sources, which is the ultimate solution to save our health from harmful greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. 

Reach out to me below if you have any questions or comments. Until next time!



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Reader Comments

  1. Hello there and thanks for sharing.
    This is great as it shows what conserving energy is all about. People need to be aware of this, and how each individual can contribute in making the world a better place.

  2. This article was really helpful. You hear all the time about “going green” and really it can be in so many ways. Thank you for breaking down renewable energy for me. Now on to figure out how to start utilizing it in my own home.

  3. Hi,
    This is really great stuff and I agree with you that if the world continues to consume nonrenewable resources instead of using sustainable our children and grandchildren will have nothing left.
    Good to know that we should try to reduce waste like turning our light off when not in use.
    Thanks for sharing.

    V/r

  4. Hi Catherine,

    Our government is now working to develop wind energy and solar energy to replace the old coal & oil that have been used for so many years. Although there are still so many things they can do on this, it’s better that they are doing something than nothing.

    I can feel the bad influence of global warming and extreme weather in my hometown which causes more damages to people’s lives and properties than ever. Therefore, I do hope we can find the perfect solution for our kids and leave them a healthier place to stay.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Matt

  5. Great post about energy sources. Personally, I have always wondered about using fossil fuels and the effect on the globe. I did some studying to try to find out what the Earth uses fossil fuels for, because everything on the planet has a purpose and that purpose expands further than human needs. Right?
    It seems we do not know what the Earth uses fossil fuels for. I know what we use oils for: to reduce friction, provide heat, and too moisturize.
    What if the Earth uses this stuff to reduce friction from plate movements. Maybe it is used to absorb excess surface heat. Maybe it helps to displace weight as the Earth turns in revolution. Maybe, pumping it out is causing global change more directly than just putting carbon in the atmosphere.
    I could be crazy because I want to know what purpose the Earth has for fossil fuels, but I believe that if we knew then we could better understand the effects we a re causing by removing it.

    1. At first glance, this appeared to be an abstract thought. But now that I am thinking about it, this seems so obvious. Everything we come across in nature does seem to have a purpose so it would make sense that oils have ones too. Throughout history humans had found a new invention, use it intensively and it is only many years later that we start to see the negative impact of those actions. I too think these oils are hard to access for a reason, they are meant to stay there. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Hi Catherine
    Another great article. The world is facing an interesting challenging time right now – I am referring to the COVID19 situation. I think it really is a question now of how we as humans react to this and turn the situation around to address growing inequalities, essential resource and food insecurities many are facing, the rising spread of diseases and it is all linked with climate change driven by our ongoing consumption of fossil fuels.

    While some of the immediate impacts of COVID we have seen – a reduction in carbon emissions of around 17 to 30 % – e.g. New Dehli can see the Himalayas for the first time in years, etc. So that is a good thing. Another possible good thing is that cities are being forced to question the wisdom of packing people so densely. All the extensive remote working is making corporations ask whether they really need all that expensive office real estate in the commercial centers – what should they do with those buildings – turn them into urban farms maybe. But one downside as many cities in the US return to work is that the fear of virus transmission in the workspace is going to oblige building managers to supply more fresh air than recirculated air.

    That sounds good but watch what happens to your utilities use when you try to cool 95’F outside air down to the mid-70’F for office space. Utility consumption will go through the roof. Maybe this will force more people to work from home during summer heat and winter cold, but then that could just mean everyone would be individually running up utility consumption by cooling and heating their apartments and homes rather than a communal office space. Somehow I doubt whether that is more efficient in the aggregate. Maybe we should all just be sitting working on our laptops with our feet dangling in kiddies paddling pool of cold water.

    Anyway, as we approach World Environment Day these are very interesting questions. I just hope that going forward we will not lose momentum and seize the opportunities.
    Thanks again
    Kind regards
    Andy

    1. I agree with you, this is a perfect opportunity for reflection! I am hoping that we will see more people working from home. Office spaces are u huge waste of space and waste of our valuable earths resources. I am currently writing an article on this subject so keep an eye out for it as I think you will enjoy reading it!

      All the very best.

  7. Hi Catherine,

    Fantastic article! Really really great and very informative. The current statistics as you have shown are shocking! Hopefully more of us will begin to understand the current crisis very very soon! Thanks for sharing this eye opening information!

  8. I never use to give much thought or care about the use of fossil fuels. I always just assumed technology will always figure something out and our children and grandchildren will live in a better life that all fun and rainbows. This just brought me back to the reality of our world today.

    If we don’t not stop harming the world and consuming like there is no tomorrow, the future generation will suffer in a way humans have not in the past 1300 years. Thank you for this article.

  9. Hi Catherine, I love this article (again 🙂 and your website). For 3 months we have had solar panels on our roof. I was hesitating for a while about them because they too have elements that will cause waste after the panels’ lifespan is over. So it still feels a bit as choosing between 2 not that good alternatives.
    But fossil is a path with a dead end, I am sure, hence the choice for panels. 🙂

    1. I am pleased that you have taken this step and invested in green energy. Did you know that most solar companies offer maintenance and repairs now too?

  10. Thank you for explaining the types of energy in a way that’s easy to understand. We have been trying as much as possible to convert to sustainable energy. My favorite source is sustainable energy is man-power. Now that the weather is finally warm, I try to walk or ride my bike as many places as possible to avoid driving my minivan 🙂

    1. Yes, the weather certainly can affect our willingness to walk or cycle, and there are some solutions for this. There are bikes that now look more like cars with roofing and weatherproof clothing is effective. However, these fabrics are not great for the environment. I would like to see more development in the hemp industry. Enjoy your time spent outside. All the best.

  11. Hey Catherine, what a lovely, well put together website with super detail about energy definition, renewable sources of energy, and its benefits, natural resources, recycling, etc

    Yes for sure I am for a greener world and have been for the past 20-years now great to see it coming more and more about hopefully the big players of this world will keep up our great green energy balance throughout the globe. With us all then 🙂

    Thanks, Tommy

    1. We are starting to see more and more of the big cats getting involved. However, the most beneficial large-scale thing we could do right now is to start a carbon tax. Thank you for reading.

  12. Hi Catherine,

    I am big on green living myself and learnt lots from your current as well as previous posts.

    I think its a collective responsibility in terms of adapting the natural sources of energy. This is the only way to save the world in the longer run.

    Many Thanks for this amazing reminder to us to go towards more natural living.

    Habib

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