With the global population now exceeding 7.6 billion, there’s a newfound interest in environmentally friendly technologies. Also known as green technology, it seeks to preserve the environment by mitigating the effects of human activity. Here are some of the leading green technologies that are changing the world.

Solar Power

Solar power is a green technology that’s characterized by the use of photovoltaic (PV) cells to convert sunlight into electricity. There are different types of PV cells, including monocrystalline and polycrystalline, but they all work in the same manner: when sunlight strikes the PV cell, it separates the contained electrons from their paired atoms, thus creating electricity. This electricity is transmitted to an inverted when it’s converted into alternating current (AC).

Unlike traditional sources of power like coal-burning power plants, solar power is completely green. It doesn’t produce carbon emissions, nor does it pollute the air with particulate matter.

Wind Power

Another example of green technology is wind power, which uses wind to spin the blades of tall turbines while subsequently turning a generator and creating electricity. Like solar power, wind power is clean and safe for the environment. However, wind power is typically generated on a utility scale whereas solar power is generated on both a utility and residential scale.

According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the United States produces enough electricity from wind turbines to power 25 million homes. Utility companies often create large installations of wind turbines, known as wind farms, on open terrain. The power generated from these wind farms is funneled into the company’s power grid and distributed to its customers.

Electric Vehicles

Combustion vehicles are responsible for 75 percent of all carbon monoxide pollution in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Electric vehicles, however, help to reduce carbon emissions and create a greener planet.

With traditional combustion vehicles, power is created by burning a mixture of fuel and air. While effective at creating power, this creates harmful byproducts in the form of carbon emissions. Electric vehicles are powered from rechargeable batteries. Therefore, they don’t produce carbon emissions. And since they don’t consume fuel, electric vehicles are also cheaper to operate and maintain than combustion vehicles.

Of course, there are countless other green technologies. Any environmentally friendly tool or device is essentially a green technology.