Green energy technologies, such as solar panels, wind turbines and ground source heat pumps, are becoming more and more popular as people realize the benefits of generating their own forms of fuel to power their homes. These sources of renewable energy are outstanding when it comes to creating green, environmentally-friendly fuel, but they can unfortunately be quite expensive to set up in the first place. Many people still feel that renewable sources of energy are too expensive to even consider, but there are ways to get back the initial investment if you choose your sources wisely.
Using solar energy to power your home
Solar power is one of our most magical sources of renewable fuel. Solar power is generated when photovoltaic (PV) cells convert sunlight into electricity, and there are a wide range of options for people looking to generate power from the sun. The different systems for solar power come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s worth doing some research to find out what the best and most economical option may be for you and your home. A typical system can save around 1.2 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Solar thermal systems
In a similar way to solar power, solar thermal systems use energy from the sun to heat water, which is then pumped into your hot water cylinder or boiler. They’re much easier to install and cheaper than PV systems, and can bring you a much quicker return on your investment because of this. A good solar water system is able to power around half of your hot water needs, and can reduce your carbon emissions by around 325kg.
With some solar systems, power providers may even offer to purchase back some of the electricity that you generate if you don’t need it, adding to the economy overall.
Wind turbines are used to convert wind in to electricity and can either be installed as a freestanding system or mounted on the roof of your house. The electricity which is generated by a turbine can be stored in a battery or connected to the grid. For wind power to work, you need to live in an area which is far enough away from buildings and trees to operate effectively, as in built-up areas, the wind power may not be powerful enough to generate your fuel. Small domestic wind turbines can potentially provide 30-35% of an average home’s electricity needs.
Ground source heat pumps use natural heat from the ground to warm your home and reduce fuel bills. They operate by pumping water and antifreeze through buried pipes, which then absorb any heat to be found underground. This heat is then pushed through pipes in your home to heat them. Installed in an electrically heated home, a ground source heat pump can save almost seven tons of C02 a year.