Renewable energy is obtained from sources which naturally replenish. This means it is often carbon neutral and in many cases, unlimited.
The most common forms of renewable energy are wind, hydroelectric, biomass and solar. All of these sources can be implemented in domestic properties, providing a number of benefits for the owner, including:
- Less carbon emissions
- Decreased fuel bills
- Reduced reliance on the National Grid
Here are the various types of renewable energy available for domestic usage, along with their advantages and drawbacks.
Harnessing the power of wind is a very effective way to create energy, especially in the UK, where it is an abundant resource.
Wind turbines produce energy when they catch the wind and it turns the rotor. This spins the generator and produces electricity, which can then be used in the property.
- Wind is readily available
- The are no pollutants associated with wind power
- Cheap and easy to maintain
- Can only produce energy when windy
- Can impact wildlife
Solar renewable energy
Solar panels are made from photovoltaic cells, which harness energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. These cells are then placed across the panel and positioned in such a way to attract and absorb as much light as possible.
The solar cells are made from semiconducting materials. Once sun’s rays reaches the cells, they absorb the light and generate electrons which, in turn, creates electricity.
One of the reasons that solar panels are popular in domestic properties is that they are easy to maintain and require little upkeep. For this reason, solar panels are a popular alternative to utilising traditional energy systems.
Solar renewable energy has been implemented throughout different parts in the world. In southern Europe, in particular, there has been a rise in the number of solar panels installed in the last decade.
- Highly effective, regardless of whether it’s sunny or not
- Requires little maintenance and upkeep
- Easy to install
- There can be significant upfront costs required
Biomass renewable energy
Biomass is the energy produced from organic and plant matter, such as wood, agricultural waste and residue, vegetation or even industrial waste.
To harness the power, the organic matter is incinerated which then produces steam to turn a turbine, which generates electricity.
Most biomass fuel is grown specifically to burn and generate electricity. Once the organic matter has been used as fuel, it is then replanted. This ensures that the crop is carbon neutral.
- A huge range of materials can be used
- Produces ash as a by-product and is a rich fertiliser
- Requires proper management, as on many occasions more trees have been burned than planted, contributing to deforestation
Renewable energy systems are a sustainable and efficient way for homeowners and tenants to reduce their carbon footprint. Although much of this technology is relatively new, there have been significant steps taken forward to ensure that these measures are reliable and productive.
Are you considering renewable energy generation for your own property? If so, let us know which method you are going to incorporate by tweeting us @greendealshop, we would love to hear from you.