Sometimes doing the right thing for some selfless desire to help the planet is a challenge. We all understand the benefits of renewable energy for the environment. It is also true to suggest that if a few billion people made a small change than that is one significant step in the right direction.
It would be easier still to make the change to renewable energy if we understood more the changes we could make and how these might benefit us. Here we offer a guide to renewable energy in your home; in the hope, it makes it easier to make smaller choices.
Renewable energy refers to energy sources that can be replenished in nature; for instance, heat from the sun or the power of the wind. Although we may think of this as new technology, we have been harnessing the energy from nature for thousands of years. Think windmills, sailing ships the fire in a home.
The move to non-renewable energy happened over the last 500 years – as we looked for a cheaper way to fuel are a more sophisticated lifestyle. However, the economic cost has been replaced by an environmental price, and now more people realize they need to seek energy from nature once more. More and more work is being done to make renewable energy cost-effective.
Solar panels are a viable option in our homes, as we can install panels on our rooftop. In the wider industry, there is a move towards utility-scale farms of solar panels. You will see these overtaking large fields, which might not seem the best for nature, but the areas are also home to much biodiverse life. The amount of energy harnessed from the sun increased by 4300% in 10 years. For householders, there is the added benefit of returning some power to the grid and earning some money from the energy companies.
Biomass Heating Systems
Biomass refers to a host of biofuels such as ethanol, biodiesel, wood, waste, and biogas from landfills. It also refers to the recycling of cooking oil that some companies undertake to help fuel the fleet of trucks that delivers their ingredients. The use of byproducts as an energy source has the benefit of using something that would go to waste as a valuable resource.
We have been harnessing the power of the wind for 7,000 years. While visitors to The Netherlands will delight in the beauty of windmills, wind turbines in our countryside and our seas tend to divide opinion. Some see the new wind turbines as beautiful, almost majestic, while others perceive them to be an eyesore. Whatever your opinion, the amount of energy farmed from wind has increased 22 times over the last 15 years.
You can make a small-scale change to your home by installing a small wind turbine. It is easy to do and will offer some power for your day to day activities.
There are so many other forms of renewable energy that the utility companies could support, including hydropower and geothermal energy. Although one single source of power might not be a reliable resource, with changing seasons and weather conditions, a variety of methods could offer a constant supply.
The apparent benefits of renewable energy are in its variety and its lower environmental impact. There are limitless sources of renewable energy, while fossil fuel resources are finite. These fossil fuels are also significantly increasing the changes to our climate.
There are more serious reasons to want to move to renewable sources. Reliance on oil and coal-producing countries makes the world politically and economically unstable. With energy-independence comes political independence. Equally, as an individual, if we seek our renewable energy source, we can find freedom from utility companies who have taken many opportunities to raise the cost of electricity and gas.
With low maintenance and low wastage, the ultimate argument for renewables is efficiency. You will also be pleasantly surprised at home the technology eventually pays for itself, as you generate energy for the grid. You will produce more electricity than you will need, and the utility companies could end up paying you.
It is also fair to mention that the initial outlay for renewables energy sources for your home will initially be quite expensive. Also, if there are extended periods of poor weather, if using solar energy, you could still rely on traditional modes of powering your home. Bird watchers also have significant issues with wind turbines that kill many birds each year.
However, if you choose a solar panel, with energy-efficient underfloor heating, with a smart thermostat and maybe even a solar over – you could be doing your bit to save money – and the planet.