It’s all about the source.
Renewable energy, also known as clean energy, comes from natural, low-carbon sources that nature continuously replaces on a human timescale. For example, sunlight keeps shining and wind keeps blowing – even if their availability may depend on time, location and weather.
Renewable energy sources are much better for the environment than conventional ones since they help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution associated with energy production. Renewable electricity is a subset of renewable energy, and refers specifically to the electricity that comes from renewable sources, and is used to power homes and businesses.
So, what are the sources?
SOLAR – Our most abundant source of renewable energy is the light and heat that radiates from the Sun, and can be harnessed using a range of continually-evolving technologies. The amount of solar energy available on Earth is vastly more than the world's current energy requirements, and could easily satisfy all future energy needs.
WIND – Wind power uses turbines to convert the kinetic energy of wind into electricity. A wind turbine’s rotating blades turn an internal shaft that drives a system of gears to increase the speed of rotation, which then powers a generator that produces electricity.
HYDROPOWER – Like wind power, hydropower is one of the oldest, and still the world's leading source of clean energy. It also uses spinning turbines to produce energy, but instead of wind, it uses falling or fast-running water. Hydropower turbines are built into dams or under waterfalls, enabling them to capture the natural power of flowing water.
BIOMASS – Biomass materials come from living things. The most common such materials are wood, plants and waste. Our first choice is always to recycle biomass as materials for our products. Where recycling biomass is not possible, our second choice is to use it for energy.
GEOTHERMAL – Geothermal energy is the heat that is continuously being produced inside our planet from both its original formation in our solar system, and from radioactive decay of minerals. This energy can be found worldwide, but is most easily harnessed when it’s closest to the earth's surface, such as areas with volcanic activity or natural hot springs.
What is nuclear energy, and why doesn’t it count?
Nuclear energy is energy generated by splitting atoms, and using steam to convert the enormous energy that this produces into electricity. This is done through a long and risky process at nuclear power plants around the world.
Some energy analysts believe that, because of its low carbon emissions, nuclear energy should be considered renewable. But creating nuclear energy requires Uranium, a heavy metal element that will eventually run out (even though it may take hundreds of years).
More importantly, although it doesn’t produce greenhouse gases, nuclear energy does produce waste that is extremely dangerous for living organisms, and requires safe storage for thousands of years.
Renewable electricity at TENA
At TENA we’re continually discovering and innovating. Finding new ways to improve people’s lives while also improving the carbon footprint of our products.
Since 2008 we’ve reduced that footprint by 11-33% in Europe, depending on assortment. By switching to 100% renewable electricity at all our European factories1, we’ll improve on those numbers by an additional 6%2 – putting us well on track to meet our ambitious target of reducing our footprint by 50% in Europe by 2030.
And, of course, the electricity we buy is 100% certified as renewable by the European Electricity Certificate System (EECS), which guarantees the origin of our electricity, in the same way as all fresh fiber in our products is FSC- or PEFC-certified to live up to our high demands on responsible forestry.
We want to design products that help you lead a lower-carbon life without having to sacrifice your own well-being, or the well-being of your loved ones. And we’re getting there. One step at a time.