Renewable energy has come a long way over the years. Previously reserved for the wealthy or the ‘off griders’, getting energy from renewable resources has become far more common nowadays, with many households using solar panels or ground source heat pumps as a way of producing more sustainable energy.
Solar panels are the most common renewable energy systems. This is due to them being one of the most effective forms of renewable energy systems, helping to generate renewable energy. One of the previous problems with solar was that you could only get power from the panels when the sun was out. But now, due to new technology, we now have the ability to store surplus solar power for the evening. This is done by storing the power in a battery.
There are solar schemes, such as Su Plus, who offer this service. SunPlug enables you to keep the energy you generate rather than selling it back to the grid. This means you can power your home using solar in the evening as well as the day.
As the name suggests, wind turbines harness the energy in wind to create electricity. There are two options for home wind turbines; roof mounted or freestanding. The turbine is then either connected to the grid or to a remote battery.
There are companies that will install turbines for you, or if you are handy with your tools, you can buy a kit. Wind energy is particularly good for anyone living in the UK, as it’s the windiest European country.
Solar water heating
Solar water heating works by using heat from the sun to warm water, and solar heating can be used alongside a conventional boiler. The system will work all year round, but you may need to top up the heat with your boiler during the winter months.
Ground source heat pumps
Ground source heat pumps work by extracting heat from the ground. First, you need an area of land to install the heat pump, then pipes are buried in the land; some of the systems are installed horizontally on your land, whilst other companies drill down and install vertically.
One of the advantages of ground source heat pumps is that the temperature underground stays constant. This means they can be used all year round, but you would have to dig up your garden to have them installed.