If you’ve found yourself on this blog, then you’re probably keen to do your bit for the environment. We’ve all developed an awareness and consciousness about global warming. We know the impact of our current fossil fuel consumption, and we’re keen to make a change. The only trouble is knowing how to help. Unfortunately, it can often seem like our small actions are useless when compared to giant companies. The truth is that every little helps. And, more importantly, if we all make a small change, then it slowly changes public perception. So, how exactly do you make the change to renewable energy at home?
The trouble with home energy solutions is that they were initially quite inefficient. In other words, a small wind turbine couldn’t produce enough energy for the entire home. This was certainly true in the past, but the accusation stuck. Nowadays, technology is in a much stronger place. In fact, a small wind turbine can now easily power the entire home. It’s particularly effective if you live in the countryside area where there is plenty of wind.
Solar panels are perhaps the most common choice when talking about renewable energy. They are quickly becoming the most efficient method of powering the home. They are also becoming more discreet to blend in with the architecture. In many cases, solar panels are so powerful they actually generate excess electricity. This can then be sold back to the grid for a profit. Another option here is using a hybrid of solar and wind together. That means that power is generated no matter the weather.
Heat pumps work by harnessing the natural warmth of the ground. The ground absorbs an enormous amount of heat energy from the sun. It’s also incredibly effective at storing it, so very little is lost. By installing underground pipes, that warmth is transferred to water, and then piped around the home. Once installed, ground source heat pumps are very cheap to run. It’s a particularly great choice if you’re currently building a new home. Having said that, they will also work well as a retrospective installation.
Biomass is a fantastic way to harness waste and organic materials. A biomass furnace burns waste products, and uses the resulting heat to warm the home. It’s a very efficient way to use energy in the home, and helps eliminate waste products too. In some particularly efficient buildings and apartments, biomass burners provide heat for the entire building.
Hydro-electric power is one of the major forms of renewable energy available today. In fact, giant hydro-electric dams in China provide 20% of all domestic electricity. It’s clearly a huge force in renewable energy, but did you know you can install a small version in your own home? Micro-hydro systems harness flowing water in your drains and water systems to generate electricity. Very clever.
There you have it folks! It is possible to use renewable energy in the home with efficient results. Where would you start?