What’s The Difference Between Green, Clean, and Renewable Energy?

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Many people assume that clean, renewable energy, and green energy means the same thing. They spend their whole life interchangeably using these terms without knowing the difference. There might be commonalities among the three terms, but they are inherently different and used for different things. This article aims to tell you about their common traits and differences.

Green Energy

Any energy produced from natural sources like sunlight, water, or wind is called green energy. All renewable energy sources are not green, but all green energy is renewable. For example, even though hydropower is renewable, building a large-scale hydropower facility can damage nearby rivers and lakes, which goes against the green ideology. Green energy can also be considered clean energy since it does not release vast amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere during electricity generation.

Renewable Energy

The identifying trait of renewable energy is that its source continuously replenishes itself in a short period. It can be considered an inexhaustible source, meaning that the source used to produce electricity never runs out. This type of energy is more suited to the environment than fossil fuels which are non-renewable resources and will run out someday.

Clean Energy

Any energy source that doesn’t exude vast amounts of chemical contaminants, pollution, or greenhouse gases is termed clean energy. These sources have a negligible effect on the environment, making them the best option for our planet, especially since we’re going through global warming.

The Difference

The three terms have nuances and subtle differences in renewal, creation, and environmental impact:


  • Green energy comes from natural sources that can be renewed naturally and have the most negligible environmental impact.
  • Clean energy is created without introducing any pollutants or greenhouse gases into the environment, but they don’t need to be renewable.
  • Lastly, renewable energy sources, as the name suggests, can be naturally replenished and are inexhaustible. However, they’re flow-limited because there is a limited quantity to which they can be captured.


  • Green energy is created from natural sources and has the least environmental footprint.
  • Even though it may not be renewable, clean energy doesn’t create many pollutants or contaminants.
  • Renewable energy is created from natural sources that can be replaced naturally and within an average human life.


  • Green energy has virtually no environmental impact on the planet.
  • Clean energy also produces energy without any greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide. Most clean energy sources like wind, solar, or hydropower can be renewable.
  • With renewable energy, it depends on the method used to generate electricity.

Comparing Clean, Renewable, and Green Energy

Green vs Clean Energy:

Green energy can emit pollution in small quantities, while clean energy doesn’t produce any emissions. Even if green energy produces some greenhouse gases or pollution, this pales in comparison to fossil fuels which generate a lot of pollutants. With green energy, there is zero threat to the environment.

Clean vs Renewable Energy:

Renewable energy is inexhaustible, but it doesn’t necessarily have to come from a clean energy source. Some renewable energy might produce pollutants and stay in the “clean” range. Solar, wind, and geothermal energy are the cleanest renewable sources.

In the scale of things, small hydroelectric plants are clean and renewable. However, large hydroelectric plants can harm the environment and generate pollutants during construction. This way, they produce renewable but not clean energy.

Renewable and Clean Energy:

Renewable and clean energy make the best combination. There are no significant emissions when these energy sources are utilised, and they naturally replenish themselves quickly. Solar and wind are renewable and clean energy sources that produce no pollution and cannot be depleted. Tidal and geothermal also come under renewable and clean energy sources.


All three types of energy help decrease fossil fuel dependence and relieve the burdens imposed by humanity on the planet. It’s important to remember that they are different in the way they are produced, used, and replenished. This is important so that we can practice eco-friendliness better.

They might have subtle differences, but they are our weapon against climate change. A single approach cannot help us; we need a multi-faceted approach. These three energy sources meet all our needs by providing a clean, renewable, and green option to produce electricity.

Also, these energy sources are cheap, unlike fossil fuels which can be expensive, mainly because they are depleting in number every day. With more dependence on these clean sources, their popularity and demand will rise, ultimately lowering their prices further. All of this

will help everyone on the planet since energy sources with zero emissions make everything better.

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