Clean, Green, Renewable

There are confusing and overlapping terms to describe sustainable energy.  With an increased focus on net zero, sustainability and for businesses to reduce carbon footprint it can be quite confusing for non-energy experts to keep up to date with the terminology and acronyms.

The below summarises the different types of energy your business can source via your electricity supply contract and the advantages and disadvantages of that type of energy.

For balance we also summarise the advantages and disadvantages of conventional ‘dirty’ energy sources such as oil, gas and coal which are still commonly available to domestic and business electricity users.

Renewable & Green Energy

Renewable energy comes from natural sources or processes which are constantly replenished and do not diminish.  Green energy is a subset of renewable energy, providing the highest environmental benefit. Green energy is specifically defined as energy generated from natural sources.

Examples of energy which is classified as both renewable and green include wind, solar and tidal power.

Advantages In theory renewable energy should never run out, it regenerates in a short period of time and does not deplete easily.  The cost of renewable energy is rapidly falling and on-going maintenance costs are small compared to traditional fuel sources.

Disadvantages Green energy relies heavily on the weather so large, consistent quantities of green energy can be difficult to generate.  Building large scale green energy projects can be controversial with the impact on local ecosystems, for example installing a large-scale solar power system.

Conventional ‘Dirty’ Energy

Most people are aware conventional power such as coal, oil and natural gas release CO2 into the atmosphere and contribute to harmful greenhouse gas emissions.   There are reasons however, why conventional energy sources have been so successful for nearly 150 years.

Advantages Fossil fuels are economically cheap and a reliable form of energy generation, coal especially, making it ideal for third world and poorer countries to generate electricity. Technology and infrastructure such as oil rigs and drilling equipment is well developed which is why fossil fuels have been used to power our world for many decades.

Disadvantages Aside from the obvious environmental damage, fossil fuels are not an infinite resource. These ‘dirty’ energy sources take millions of years to form so can never be replaced, burning them to produce energy is not only unsustainable, but is also affecting our planet.

We understand the last twelve months have been challenging for most UK businesses.  There are commercial benefits to implementing a sustainability strategy and choosing a renewable or green energy contract is a very easy and cost-effective way for a business to begin its sustainability journey.

For more information on Renewable Energy contracts please contact