But what different types of renewable energy are there, and what else is coming?
Solar energy is drawn from the sun, and while we all might feel we don’t enjoy anything like nearly enough sun in this country, there is more than enough to power homes and buildings. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that we produce more solar power here in the UK than in sunny Spain!
Solar panels and new style Integrated Roof Panels capture the energy from the sun and convert it into power. Solar panels can be placed on the roofs of buildings or may be part of larger ‘solar farms’ on rural land. Solar power is infinite and converting it to power has no negative or harmful implications, which makes it such an appealing alternative to non-renewables.
Wind turbines convert wind into power. A bit like the sun, plenty of wind is pretty much guaranteed, and its conversion to power is effective and harmless. Even light winds are enough for wind turbines to work, as their blades turn, creating kinetic energy which is then converted to electrical energy. Wind turbines can be individual, to power a small property or area, or operate as large wind farms creating vast amounts of power.
Hydrogen is a clean, renewable energy source. Whilst it is a gas, unlike other natural gases, when it is burnt it only creates water vapour rather than carbon dioxide which contributes towards climate change. Hydrogen can be produced from natural gas, other renewables such as solar and wind, or nuclear. It is already used in some countries to fuel cars. To make hydrogen a mainstream energy source however, solutions need to be found to infrastructure, storage, and transportation challenges.
Operating like wind, tidal energy offers the possibility of converting the natural power and movement of tides into electrical energy using tidal turbines. The possibilities are being researched, including by an engineering team at the University of Oxford. The benefits include the predictability of tides, and the challenges include the placement of tidal turbines and their impact on the eco-system.
Renewable energy solutions will evolve. But we can power your home or housing estate with renewable energy right now, with our leading solar energy service.
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