About 80 percent of the energy generated in the world today comes from fossil fuels. The resulting pollution has led to huge problems for the environment, like an increase in greenhouse gasses, and the ecological disasters associated with oil spills and strip mining. The world needs energy, but there are resources other than fossil fuels that can generate power [source: 4EcoTips].
Renewable energy resources can be employed to generate power, and they're everywhere. Communities across the world are looking at different, greener methods for generating and conserving energy. These are just a few:
The advantage of these methods, beyond being self-renewing, is that they're relatively clean. One of the disadvantages is that producing consistent output can be tricky. On a still day, the propeller of a wind turbine doesn't turn, so no energy is generated. The same goes for solar power when it's overcast. Another problem is that some of these methods rely on the presence of geological features, like the ocean or a windy spot, to work.
Renewable energy resources like the ones listed above can work with alternative power backups to provide reliable energy. This preference for renewable energy, coupled with aggressive energy conservation, smart building and eco-conscious city planning helps green communities reduce their carbon footprint and brings them closer to the goal of removing themselves from the grid, the traditional energy supply network that provides power to consumers.
Follow us to the next section where we'll talk about some of the ways green communities are managing water resources.