EnviroCitizen.org knows that you may have heard the term green energy consultant, but you may question what it actually means. As you may have guessed, a green energy consultant (also known as a renewable energy consultant) is an individual, group or business that is an expert in renewable energy technologies. A green energy consultant helps to determine the best way for you or your business to implement the use of green energy technology to reduce your electricity bills and lighten your carbon footprint.
Different green energy consultants specialize in different renewable energy technologies, and each green energy consultant has different definitions of what constitutes green energy. Many seriously, environmentally-conscious green energy consultants believe that in order for an energy source to be called "green", at least two-thirds of that energy must come from renewable sources. For example, you could hypothetically get two-thirds of your energy from renewable sources with the remaining third coming from fossil fuels. Other green energy consultants believe that renewable energy is only "green" if it creates clear air quality benefits. This may seem obvious, but many fuels that are being marketed as "green" or "eco-friendly" still emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
There are a wide variety of green energy consultants throughout the country that only focus on hydropower, since hydropower is the largest source of renewable energy. Hydropower currently provides about 10% of the electricity in the United States. It is definitely renewable, but many environmentalists challenge the greenness of hydropower because it can harm fish and wildlife, displace people and alter water quality. Engineers are working on ways to improve this technology to reduce its impact on ecosystems, but it remains to be an expensive, debated source of power.
Biomass (or bioenergy) energy technology is also a renewable energy technology that many green energy consultants specialize in. Basically, organic waste (such as wood and waste from agriculture like corn stalks) is burned, which then creates energy in the same basic way that fossil fuels create energy. It is advertised as being green because it produces less sulfur dioxide than coal, but it releases a large amount of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. The International Energy Agency states that about 11% of the world derives its energy from biomass. The poorest countries in the world use biomass energy for about 90% of their power, which can be considered a good indicator as to whether or not it should be used.
The most popular forms of renewable energy that are used by green energy consultants are wind energy and solar energy. Wind energy can be a great option for homes, farms and businesses in windy locations. Wind turbines are cost-effective and require hardly any maintenance. Solar energy is perhaps the most popular renewable energy source among green energy consultants because photovoltaic solar cells (solar panels) don't require maintenance, are reliable and don't produce any pollutants.
In the end, a green energy consultant can determine what renewable energy source is best for you, your home or business. With knowledgeable green energy consultants hard at work, you can easily find a renewable energy source that is tailored towards your specific needs, desires and budgets. Perhaps someday with their help, renewable energy will become a mainstream energy option! Until then, consider contacting a green energy consultant to start reducing your consumption and environmental impact.