Wind Turbines, Solar Panels, Electric Heating? Are you catching the Green Bug?

‘Sustainable sources of energy.’ ‘Sustainable fuel.’ These are phrases that we hear in the media with raising frequency. The buzz word on everyone’s tongue at the moment is ‘green.’ Whether you’re talking about rising oil prices, pollution, transport, or home life; the green movement keeps cropping up in conversations time and time again. From newcomers and casual environmentalists to hardcore eco-warriors, everyone is talking green. So, now that everyone has caught the ‘green bug,’ more and more people are turning to renewable sources of energy on a personal level. Therefore it seems prudent to combine these adventures with the rest of your home life.

Previously limited to crack-pot environmentalists, the whole world has gone green on a personal level. So with personal renewable energy now in the mainstream and at your finger tips, you need to ask yourself some questions. Why not produce your own electricity? Why not sell this back to providers when you don’t need it? Why spend money on gas central heating when you can make use of electric radiators, using your own, personally generated electricity? 

There are various different ways of generating electricity; here are some of the main ones that can be implemented on a personal scale.

  • Thankfully the Sun doesn’t charge for its energy. Solar energy is the energy derived from the sun through the form of solar radiation. Solar water heating can reduce your bills by generating up to 60% of your hot water needs. Flat plate solar panels or evacuated tubes are installed on the roof and connected to your heating system.
  • Photovoltaic panels are another way of generating electricity. This converts the solar radiation from the sun into direct current electricity. With the new Feed in Tariff (FIT) this is a good way to supply energy to your home, reduce your bills, receive income for the energy you use and any additional electricity sent back to the grid. 
  • We live in a windy place; therefore Wind Power is often a highly topical issue across the UK. But we’re not talking wind farming here; it is possible to generate electricity by installing a small scale wind turbine. It is essential that a full site survey is completed initially to see whether the investment and location will provide a suitable return both in power and financial gain. 

  • If you happen to live on a piece of land with access to a river or stream, then maybe hydroelectric power is the one for you. This basically involves the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of flowing water. Micro-hydro and Pico-hydro advances in the last few years mean this solution has become a real alternative on a small scale.

Whilst these methods may have a fairly large start-up cost, there are significant advantages to using them.  Firstly, once the renewable infrastructure has actually been put in place, the energy from it is free forever. Unlike carbon-based fuels, the wind and the sun and the earth itself provide fuel that is free, in amounts that are effectively limitless. Also, the renewable energy sources market is a rapidly changing one, whilst the fossil fuel technologies are effectively stagnant. With improving technology happening constantly, it is giving is the ability to increase the efficiency of renewable energy and continually reduce its cost.
As the world as a whole, including world leading governments, (see recent G8 meetings, Kyoto agreement etc...) continually makes strides towards the commitment to renewable energy, production volume are increasing rapidly, decreasing the individual cost of installing the infrastructure necessary. Also, with governments adding more and more monetary incentives for additional research and development, the innovation process is only getting faster.

Add this to increasing monetary incentives on a personal scale (recent UK RIT scheme for example) and it seems the benefits of renewable energy are fast outweighing the costs.

Article submitted by Carlo Ruggiero.

Carlo Ruggiero is a green aficionado who is passionate about getting the word out on renewable sources of energy and all things green, from funding your hot water to making money from your electric heating.  You can follow his struggle with social media and daily musings on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. only i have a solution to solve the problem you need a [forge power plant] it a real deal engine for the world and clean and free to build. And save for all.
    No more consume of fuel- wind-nuclear-water-solar power. Its easy to build from little to big. I know how it work and how to build. it have run on this world from aciend times long a go you not know that. are you ready for this? I will watching you. Are you ready than give i the knowledge to you!
    please learn from nature how it work! and save your self its not so complicated what you think.


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