Carbon Neutral Electricity: Why Is It Recommended?

What if there came a day when humankind had to choose between air travel and the health of the planet? What if governments mandated two or three-day moratoriums on energy usage because of the state of the ozone layer? Could you imagine if things were allowed to become so dire?

The world is at a crossroads. People are dependent on fossil fuels and electricity but there is also an awakening concerning the states of the environment and the atmosphere. There is a big push underway for the reduction of harmful greenhouse gas, or carbon, emissions, and because energy consumption produces greenhouse gasses, there is a push toward clean energy consumption.

What Is Carbon Neutrality?

Carbon neutrality is an atmospheric phenomenon involving the amount of carbon that is in the atmosphere. It is achieved when the amount of emitting carbon matches the amount of absorbed carbon in carbon sinks, which are things that absorb carbon, like oceans and vegetation.

It is important to maintain carbon neutrality because too much carbon in the atmosphere leads to the imbalance that causes global warming, or climate change. While part of the function of the oceanic system, for instance, is to accumulate and store carbon, if there is too much in the atmosphere the process is overwhelmed and the natural greenhouse of the planet is weakened. 

How Do Carbon Emissions Affect the Planet?

The easiest way to describe what will happen if carbon emissions continue to be utilized en masse by the global community is that the average temperature of the planet will rise. This can affect everything from the melting of polar ice caps to rising oceans to shrinking continents to massive destructive changes to agriculture and wildlife. In a nutshell, every part of the giant holistic system of processes that is the earth will be negatively affected by a continued, unabated stream of carbon emissions.

Why Is Carbon Neutrality Impacting Energy Needs?

These days, when people compare energy plans, they aren’t simply interested in the biggest savings available. There is also a concern for utilising energy that will not cause irreparable harm to the planet. Because the burning of fossil fuels like oil and coal are big factors in the changing of the natural greenhouse, other potential energy solutions are explored. 

What Is Carbon Neutral Electricity? 

Carbon neutral electricity is electricity that does not release carbon, or releases very little carbon, into the atmosphere. It is energy that has achieved a state of net-zero carbon dioxide emissions. 

Energy sources, such as air, wind and water are carbon-neutral and better for the planet. Nuclear power plants are also carbon-neutral energy sources, though obtaining the fuel required for the reactor involves an expansive use of energy.

It’s important to examine the energy sources side by side. On the one hand, you have a central power station producing electricity using traditional fossil fuels, and pouring carbon into the atmosphere. The energy required to access these fossil fuels also contributes carbon to the atmosphere. On the other, you have solar power, in which the sun, which will be a constant source of energy for humankind for billions of years, powers an electric grid. Solar panels simply absorb the rays and the harnessing process has begun. 

The world has long benefitted from turning fossil fuels into sources of electricity. They have effectively carried the world into the modern age. As scientists continue to learn about, and to witness, the detrimental effects of the burning of these fossil fuels, they have provided recommendations for applying other types of alternative sources for electricity, knowing that when mankind is able to make this shift, its needs will be met as well as those of the planet.

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