Green is the color of chlorophyll and red is the color of hemi. Both these naturally occurring organic compounds belong to a class of chemicals known as porphyrins that are sometimes called chelates. They form heterocyclic claw like rings that attach to metallic ions. Perhaps you have heard the term chelation therapy. This is where the term comes from. The chlorophyll chelate holds a magnesium ion and the hemi chelate holds an iron ion. They are both very sensitive to light but only chlorophyll responds to light by bringing water and carbon dioxide together to form chemical energy in the form of sugar. Chlorophyll is used by plants to make chemical energy and hemoglobin is used by animals to burn chemical energy. We use the color green to symbolize the connection between sunlight and life.
Renewable energy systems are a form of green energy. They are generally broken down into categories like solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and biomass, but all renewable energies come directly from sunlight. Oil and coal energies also originated from sunlight, but we don’t consider these renewable energy sources since they take millions of years to form from the decayed remains of animals and plants.
Dependence on green energy is less destructive to our environment than our dependence on foreign oil shipments. Of course every form of energy will produce some pollution byproducts, but green energy products and services are designed to minimize this problem. A worldwide recognition and use of green energy systems will reduce greenhouse gasses and extend the life expectancy of our planet. Residential solar collectors used to supply heat and hot water reduce the shipping expense of chemical energies and residential solar panels reduce demands on the power grid. With a sufficient battery backup it’s possible for an individual sever the ties to the grid.
Green energy technologies are constantly evolving and the best investment decisions for a consumer will depend on personal factors such as: climate, land, type of house and financial situation. The characteristics of a good energy-efficient building include a way to stay cool in the summer without air-condoning assistance and a way to stay warm in the winter. The building should be well insulated and make use of active or passive solar heating applications. Retrofitting an old house is an option but ideal energy independent solar homes are challenging retrofits. By using renewable energies we add value to our homes, our lives and our environment. The supply of non-renewables is disappearing so fast that we might best learn better ways to conserve energy.
Renewable energy jobs are created when investments are made on the materials and labor used to build, install and maintain facilities rather than import fossil fuels. After the oil embargo of the 1970’s the United Stated decided to become more dependent on fossil fuels rather than invest in the renewable energy industry as President Carter had suggested. We are now paying for this narrow-minded decision as we watch China and Japan and other countries develop technologies that we could have been working on for the last 40 years.
Green energy is more than a method of supplementing our income or keeping warm at night. It’s more than a windmill on the top of a hill or a house roof covered with solar collectors. It’s a direct connection with the energy we need to lead a productive joyful life. There is green energy power and green energy heat and there is also an internal green energy. This is the energy needed to live in harmony with an ever-changing world. As human beings we have the technology to restore our connection with nature and still enjoy the amenities we expect. The information and resources needed to become a green person are readily available. Our social transformation into a green energy economy will take time but we can speed up the process by mastering renewable energy concepts.