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What is the difference between clean, green and renewable energy?

Renewable energy

Renewable energy, green energy, clean energy... With the focus on sustainability and preserving our planet, it can be difficult to remember all the terms. To get you started, we explain below the similarities and differences between these three key sustainability terms.

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is essentially energy created from a source that is continuously replenished. In theory, this source will never run out. Therefore, it is a much more environmentally friendly and efficient solution than non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels and gas. Moreover, the latter substances harm the atmosphere.
Renewable energy comes from natural sources and includes energy from wind turbines and solar panels, for example.

What is green energy?

Green energy is energy from natural sources such as wind, water and sunlight. Then you may ask: Isn't green energy the same as renewable energy? Indeed, most green energy sources are also renewable sources, but not all renewable energy is green. Therein lies the difference.
In addition, some will say that hydropower is renewable, but the process of producing large amounts of energy with it is not. Why not? Because of the industrialization and deforestation that goes along with building such huge dam projects to generate hydropower.
Our earth still provides the most green energy. Therefore, wind, water and sunlight are the most efficient and most used as renewable and green energy. Since the dividing line between these two energy sources cannot be drawn, they go perfectly hand in hand.

What is clean energy? defines 'clean energy' as: "Energy sources that do not burden the environment by their use (especially electricity energy sources)". So it is basically on a par with green and renewable energy. However, the question is how clean clean energy is. According to some, emissions during transport and production of energy should be included when talking about how sustainable a source of energy is.

The differences in brief

To help you remember the differences between the various energy sources, the following is a general rule:

  • Renewable energy = recyclable resources
  • Green energy = natural resources
  • Clean energy = clean air

Do you want to use green energy for your electric car?