Types of green

Green energy (sometimes called renewable or sustainable energy) comes from natural sources like wind, water, and sunlight. It is much more environmentally friendly than other types of energy and doesn’t contribute to climate change or global warming. Unlike fossil fuels, green energy sources replenish naturally and are in continuous supply.

Learn a little more about the most common types of green energy.

Solar

The conversion of sunlight into electricity is made possible with the special properties of semi-conducting materials. It can be harnessed through a range of ever-evolving technologies like solar heating, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, solar architecture, molten salt power plants, and artificial photosynthesis. Learn more about solar solutions from IGS Solar.

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Did you know…If the typical household consumption of 10.7 mWh per year was generated by solar energy, it would eliminate the burning of 10,766 pounds of coal.

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Wind

Wind energy is produced by wind turbines, which have rotating blades that harness the wind’s kinetic energy. Wind turbines contain generators that harness the mechanical energy from the spinning blades to generate electricity. The U.S. currently generates enough electricity through wind to power 23.5 million homes.

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Did you know…The average wind turbine stands 20 stories tall with 3 blades that span 200 feet across.

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Hydroelectric

A hydroelectric power station uses water flow to power a turbine. The turbines are connected to generators that produce energy through the use of water currents. The amount of energy generated is determined by the speed the water flows. Therefore, a swiftly flowing river will generate more electricity than a slower moving current.

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Did you know…Hydro generation accounts for 35% of total renewable electricity in the U.S.

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Landfill Gas

The waste we generate ends up in landfills, where it decomposes and produces landfill gas made of approximately 50 percent methane. This gas can be captured and used to fuel electric generators. Since large landfills must burn off this gas to reduce the hazards arising from gas buildup, this method of renewable energy is one of the most successful.

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Did you know…There are over 600 operational landfill gas projects throughout the U.S.

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Biomass

Biomass is produced when organic wastes – like trees, wood waste, and agricultural residues – decay. This waste can be converted to fuel through combustion for the generation of electricity.

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Did you know…Wood solids – which come from mostly logging and mill residues; wood, paper, and furniture manufacturing; or discarded large timber projects, such as railway ties, utility poles, and marine pilings – account for nearly one-third of the electricity generated from biomass and waste.

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