Alternative energy is a term used to describe an energy source that is an alternative to using fossil fuels. Generally, it indicates energies that are non-traditional and have low environmental impact. The term alternative is used to contrast with fossil fuels and often used interchangeably with renewable energy.
Similarly, The term Green energy is used to describe sources of energy which are considered environmentally friendly and non-polluting. Green energy is commonly thought of in the context of electricity, heating, and cogeneration, and is becoming increasingly available.
No matter which side of the political debate you fall with respect to global warming (or cooling), most alternative energy and green energy solutions make economic sense more often than not. While there is little debate that alternative/green energy solutions help reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional, fossil fuel energy solutions, their greatest impact is to help their nation’s energy independence, not necessarily, to replace or eliminate the use of fossil fuels. Just like your personal retirement plans, a balanced portfolio makes sense (as long as the costs of balancing that portfolio don’t exceed the benefits thereof). That is why we’ll see nuclear power development again (in the US), new waste-to-energy plants, more landfill gas to energy plants, more distributed generation, biodiesel and ethanol production, etc. Not because it’s the ‘right thing to do’ for the planet, but because it makes economic sense and less dependent on foreign oil.
At Venture, we, along with our customers, are leading the way in alternative and green energy solutions. Through projects like waste-to-energy, biodiesel, and landfill gas to pipeline and electricity plants, Venture is supporting our customers in a variety of ways, from conceptual studies through detailed design and construction management.
Similarly, we are supporting our traditional energy customers in the same manner. From refinery projects to coal and gas fired power plant projects. These conventional sources are not the ‘evil’ step child. They too are a vital and necessary means to energy independence. And isn’t that, shouldn’t that, be our goal?