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Green energy
A wind turbine at Greenpark, Reading, England, generating green electricity for approx 1000 homes. Green energy is the term used to describe sources of energy that are considered to be environmentally friendly and non-polluting, such as geothermal, wind, solar, and hydro. Sometimes nuclear power is also considered a green energy source. Green energy sources are often considered "green" because they are perceived to lower carbon emissions and create less pollution.

Green energy is commonly thought of in the context of electricity generation. A fuller picture requires appreciation of efficient energy use as well as mechanical power, heating and cogeneration. Consumers, businesses, and organizations may purchase green energy to support further development, help reduce the environmental impacts of conventional electricity generation, and increase their nation’s energy independence. Renewable energy certificates (green certificates or green tags) have been one way for consumers and businesses to support green energy.

Related terms
In the media, green energy is often used interchangeably with the term Renewable energy. Alternative energy and clean technologies are other terms often used instead of renewable energy. The terms suggest a non-polluting, non-fossil-fuel source. Green power is sometimes used in reference to electricity generated from "green" sources. Brown energy has been used to contrast non-renewable or polluting energy sources with green energy.

Sustainable energy is the provision of energy such that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. In practice, this is equivalent to green energy although the different terms can imply a difference of emphasis. For example, hydroelectricity can result in a large-scale damage to local ecosystems and hence might not be considered green. The damage, in terms of the global ecosystem (or biosphere) would be relatively minor and so hydroelectricity might be considered sustainable if used to a limited extent.

Green sources
A solar trough array is an example of green energy. Green energy includes natural energetic processes that can be harnessed with little pollution. Anaerobic digestion, geothermal power, wind power, small-scale hydropower, solar energy, biomass power, tidal power, and wave power fall under such a category. Some definitions may also include power derived from the incineration of waste.

Some people, including George Monbiot and James Lovelock have specifically classified nuclear power as green energy. Others, including Greenpeace disagree, claiming that the problems associated with radioactive waste and the risk of nuclear accidents (such as the Chernobyl disaster) pose an unacceptable risk to the environment and to humanity. No power source is entirely impact-free. All energy sources require energy and give rise to some degree of pollution from manufacture of the technology.

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