Sep 21, 2014

Guide to Renewable Energy Solutions

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Various renewable energy solutions Did you know that we are 40 years away from oil depletion; and there are only 65 years of gas and 200 years of coal left, according to the Statistical Review of World Energy 2012. What does this mean? Now is the time to consider the various types of renewable energy options to improve your home/property’s sustainability. There are common products like solar and wind energy and more unconventional choices such as rainwater harvesters and wood pellet stoves. But how do you know which solution is right for you?


Some methods of renewable energy can save you up to 50% on annual fuel bills. If you want to save money and reduce your carbon footprint but are not sure which renewable energy you want to install or can install, here is a guide to many of the different forms available on the market today.


Note that some products may not be ideal for you and your current location. Each method has its own criteria such as geography and climate for example, so take the considerations into account to make sure you are making the right decision. After all, some solutions can be quite costly to purchase and are long-term investments.

 

Wind Energy


Wind energy and solar energy working togetherWind energy is increasing in popularity across the world due to the simple fact that electricity is more costly than oil or gas, and electricity prices have risen dramatically in recent years. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of the wind into electricity and the power produced can be used for a home or commercial property to meet day-to-day electricity needs. It is a carbon neutral energy source with various grants and incentives available to help financially.

 

Solar Energy


Solar energy is collected from the sun and it can be used to generate heat and electricity. Solar thermal panels provide hot water but can be used for heating, in contrast to PV panels which generate electricity. With a continuous supply of sun every day, did you know that up to 70% of your property’s hot water needs can be provided from a solar system?


In the UK, programs like the Renewable Heat Incentive can help financially with this product. It is a government-backed measure that was introduced in 2011 to support Britain's production of renewable heat. The policy pays the installation owner for the renewable energy provided and, like the Feed-in Tariff scheme, it is a payment for generating heat. The tariffs are paid for 20 years from the registration date.

 

Geothermal Air or Water Source


An example of a geo-thermal systemHeat pumps are another solution that use natural energy from the ground, air or water to generate heating. They are less conventional, but are one of the most efficient ways to heat a property saving up to 60-70% of heating costs on an annual basis.


The three main sources are ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps, and water source heat pumps. If you live near a water source, then a water source heat pump may be ideal.

 

Biomass Energy


A beautiful Biomass stoveBiomass energy includes organic materials like wood chips, wood pellets, wood logs and wood shavings. They fuel a heat source such as a boiler or stove. The energy is generated through the burning of the natural materials.


Once again, the Renewable Heat Incentive is available in the UK to help install this solution in your home. Biomass heat sources are very efficient with up to 94% of wood pellets and 93% of wood chips converted directly into heat energy.

 

Heat Recovery Ventilation


This is probably the least well known renewable energy source mentioned out of the list above, but it is definitely worth mentioning. Most people are familiar with basic mechanical ventilation such as the fans in a bathroom to circulate the hot air or the extractor fan over an oven. However, these all extract moisture and odors and have no influence over the incoming air.


In comparison, heat recovery ventilation systems capture 90% of the heat energy before the stale air is expelled and is used to pre-heat the incoming fresh air so the property remains warm. The system is powered by electricity, but the heat is used over and over again. According to experts, they can extract and expel carbon monoxide and reduce utility bills by up to 30%.

 

Rainwater Harvester


Rainwater harvesting is a great way to reduce energy useCollecting rainwater to wash your clothes or water your lawn has been in use for years, especially in rural areas. This solution has been increasing in popularity in urban areas to wash the car, water a roof top  garden, and flush toilets. Did you know that over 50% of water needs in the home can be met with rainwater?

 

In fact, most systems available to the average consumer require very little skill to install. Many consist of an attachment that feeds off of the down spout of rooftop gutter systems. That simple conversion then diverts the water and fills a rain barrel which stores the water for later use.

 

In Conclusion…


So here are six completely different solutions within the renewable energy industry. Look at their individual benefits, take into account their considerations, and go green!


Images courtesy of  FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Adam Snape

This article was provided by www.enerfina.com, the specialist renewable energy advisors in the UK. The experts can help you find a renewable energy solution and installer that’s right for you.

1 Comment

  • Comment Link Bill Friday, 23 November 2012 03:16 posted by Bill

    I must say you have shared knowlwgeable information. Renewable energy sources are environment friendly and ever lasting too. After going through http://mysolarzone.com and ur blog even I am switching to solar energy system.

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