Green Energy: In it for the Long Haul
It may seem as though green energy is a new concept, but that’s actually not the case. Surprisingly, green energy dates back a long, long time. Hydropower has been used all over the world for hundreds of years, windmills helped power the American West in the 1800s and believe it or not, New York once had a thriving electric taxi-company. “Traditional energy” is actually a much newer concept. Fossil fuels, like coal, didn’t pick up steam until the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s. While some may have trouble trusting new forms of energy, the concept of green energy is far from it. There are several types of natural, or green, energy:
- Solar energy
- Wind-powered energy
- Water-powered energy
- Bio-energy (plant-based)
Wind energy has been used to power ships for more than a thousand years and is used today to generate electricity. Other methods to harness this power include windmills, which once powered the tools to grind grain, pump water and perform other tasks. Today, wind turbines provide electricity for people all over the world. Solar energy has also been used since the beginning of time. People have been harnessing the power of water for centuries, as well. These are not new energy sources. Solar and wind-generated energy are renewable resources that are efficient and environmentally friendly. While modern technology has transformed the way resources such as the wind, sun and water are harnessed, the basic principles are the same. These sources are reliable, clean and powerful. The energy delivered by the sun can support current human energy use 6,000 times over. For many years now, we have relied on fossil fuels and electricity from power plants to supply us with the energy we need. As time goes on, we may see an increased shift in the way energy is produced and consumed, and one day, solar power, hydroelectricity and plant-based fuels could be the norm.