Your Questions About Sustainable Energy Definition
What is meant by Green Energy and what are the disadvantages of it?
There are several different terms that are commonly used without lots of definition.1 “Green” energy gets its name from plants that use photosynthesis and as a result are “green.” Fuel made from biomass: wood, alcohol, and bio-gas are all good examples. Because it is in the nature of biomass to grow and renew itself anything associated with the term “green” also tends to suggest what is sustainable and renewable. From there anything that is sustainable or renewable sometimes gets the “green” label though this is exactly true.
The problem with using a term like “Green” is that it tends to commonly be used in all sorts of ways that may not be particularly accurate. This is very close to the difference between the denotative meanings of words and the connotative meanings: The dictionary definitions and the way words are used and make us feel when they are used. For proponents “green” is associated with loving, caring, environmental responsibility, concern and attention. For detractors “green” is a pejorative that means many of these things overdone or done irresponsibly so that especially in the political section here you will see references to “greenies” and where the term is also associated with democrats, socialists, and left leaning politics.
We might talk about the “greening” of nuclear energy as rhetoric increasingly speaks to the facts that nuclear energy is not a fossil fuel, it does not use combustion as a source of energy and does not emit any exhaust into the atmosphere in its normal operation. Detractors will point out that nuclear fuel is in limited supply and is not renewable. Present reactors are therefore not sustainable and the only “green” aspect is that their use is an “alternative to and may offset using fossil fuels that are clearly not green, “sustainable” or “renewable”
Green energy by itself is neither advantageous or disadvantageous. It only becomes so relative to particular goals. As we do when describing a “knife” or “fire” green energy can be described as neither good or bad but from the use it is put to. While it may be advantageous to an environmental agenda it becomes disadvantageous to a fossil fuel industrial agenda. It tends to be more “of the people and bottom up rather than a leadership, top down solution.
where can i find a list of all alternative fuel sources?
I mean a list with all of them, nuclear fission, biofuel, solar, deep space solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, you know, all of them. This whole bp oil disaster has got me worried, what is the best alternative to oil?
A definitive list of “alternative fuel sources” first would require a definition. Coal is an alternative to Oil and Gas. Nuclear is an alternative to them all but is not sustainable, renewable, or non polluting. Bio fuels are renewable but may not be sustainable or even sufficient. All “thermal” forms of energy create heat that one theory suggests is the real cause of global warming and not strictly greenhouse gasses. Solar is not usually a good “alternative” at night and wind is not a good “alternative” in all locations.
The “best” alternative will always be the one where you can find the easiest and cheapest resources locally. In some places that may be geothermal. In another place that may be solar. In another it may be wind generation. Hydro for another. And maybe even coal, oil, or gas for some places. What is “cheapest” however should include all externalities and subsidies.
Ultimately, as a general rule all generated power derrives from nuclear fusion on the Sun except nuclear fission, some geothermal and tidal energy.
Peswiki and powerpedia present a fairly exhaustive list of possibilities see all sites below. Because this is “community based there are even subjects that are not considered possible by mainstream physics (zero point energy…)
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