When it comes to leading an environmentally-conscious life, it’s safe to say that many of us are stepping up our game. Whether it’s something small like ditching disposable cups, starting your own food compost at home, or nagging your partner to remember the reusable shopping bags — every little bit helps to make a huge difference.
But what about switching to an energy provider that’s into planet-friendly energy? We’ve teamed up with Aussie renewable-loving Momentum Energy to get you schooled on all things renewable energy and why it’s good for the environment.
What Is Renewable And Non-Renewable Energy?
Put simply, renewable energy is generated using renewable sources. Non-renewable energy is generated using resources that are limited, or that take tens to hundreds of millions of years to form. AKA ‘fossil fuels’. Not only does non-renewable energy require the burning of these finite fossil fuels in order to create electricity, but it is also highly pollutive — contributing to around a third of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. In short, when it comes to loving this planet of ours, renewable energy must be the way forward.
What Are Different Sources Of Renewable Energy?
Renewable sources of energy don't get exhausted and can be used over and over again, like wind, water, and the sun. Using the right infrastructure, Mother Nature’s natural elements can be used to generate electricity here and all around the world. Pretty cool, right? Solar power is one of the most common types of renewable energy, using solar panels to turn sunlight into electricity. Wind power uses turbine blades that catch the wind to make them spin, which then transforms into power using an electricity generator. There are plenty of other lesser-known renewable energy sources too, such as bioenergy, geothermal, and tidal energy.
Hydropower is another planet-loving source of renewable energy, generated from spinning turbines using the force of falling water when released from a dam. What you probably didn’t know is that hydropower is actually the most common type of renewable power generated in Australia. Momentum Energy’s parent company, Hydro Tasmania, plays a big part. They're the largest generator of renewable energy in Australia — producing about 9000-gigawatt hours of clean electricity a year, enough to power over 1.5 million Australian homes. Turns out Hydro Tasmania literally produce a dam lot of energy (see what we did there?).
Why It's Good For The Environment
We’d be lying if we said that the benefits of renewable energy weren’t huge. Because renewable energy is produced through Mother Nature’s flex, it means that it’s infinite. Conversely, burning fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, making it the leading cause of climate change for our planet. When you use renewable energy you leave out those dirty emissions and use only what Mother Nature can easily replenish. And as a bonus, renewable energy can be cost-effective too. Once the infrastructure is set up, the resources needed to generate the energy are usually freely available on-site. Meaning there’s no need to buy or transport anything. Now that’s easy energy.
How To Make The Switch
Unfortunately, switching to renewables isn’t as easy as you’d like it to be. Usually, your home will be connected to the National Electricity Market, where electricity from both renewable and non-renewable sources is mixed together in the same pool. So you can’t choose to just get renewable power at your property. However, there are still ways you can support renewables at home, like installing solar panels to provide some or all of your energy usage. If you can’t manage that, you can make a difference by choosing an energy company that supports renewables or by selecting an energy plan that allows you to offset some of your usage — with Momentum Energy you can choose a plan where however much electricity you use, they make sure the same amount of renewable energy is added to the grid. Who said being green had to be hard?
Image credit: Toa Heftiba
Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Momentum Energy and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.