Renewable energy comes from sources which aren’t going to run out. Since the industrial revolution, we’ve been relying on energy sources such as coal, oil, and gas. These fossil fuels are running out, and getting them from the ground is causing ever more destruction to our planet.
Renewable sources don’t run out. The sun, wind, and the flow of water are all free for us to make use of and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. They’re also much better for the planet as harnessing the energy from these sources doesn’t emit harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Technology such as solar panels and wind turbines can be used for domestic power and can feed energy to the national grid.
This is the energy generated from the movement of water. It has been used by people since the 6th Century BC, and hydro-power now provides around 16% of the world’s electricity. It isn’t quite as easy to use on a domestic level as most of us don’t have the natural resources to hand (i.e. a steam or river running nearby). But micro-hydro systems do exist, and they generate between 5 and 100 kW of power at 60-90% efficiency.
Solar panels can be used to provide hot water or electricity, depending upon whether you choose solar thermal (hot water) or solar PV (electricity) panels. The panels work with an inverter to create usable energy. Solar panels are ordinarily put on the roof, but sometimes can be fitted to a frame at ground-level.
We live in the windiest country in Europe, and the wind blows most in the winter. This is exactly when we use the most energy, so wind power has a lot of potential to provide large-scale energy generation in the UK. Wind turbines shouldn’t be installed just anywhere as the surrounding area needs to be free of obstructions and have high wind speeds.
The Benefits of Renewable Energy
There are several good reasons to start generating your own power:
- You can make savings on your energy bills
- Your home will be warmer and cosier more of the time for less of a cost
- Increases in electricity, gas, and oil will affect you less or not at all
- You’ll enjoy real self-sufficiency
- Your home or other buildings will be more environmentally friendly, which is becoming more and more important to buyers
- You’ll be part of the progression towards a more sustainable future
There are a couple of types of renewable energy. One type produces electricity, whilst the other produces heating for your home or hot water. If you’re not ready to set up your own renewable energy system at home, you can sign up to receive green energy from companies like Ecotricity. We’re very satisfied customers of theirs, getting all of our electricity from the wind, the sun, and the sea!