Solar energy is the process of harnessing the self-sustaining and self-replenishing natural energy from the sun’s rays to provide us with electricity. Solar energy is a fantastic renewable resource that is helping us move away from fossil fuels and reduce the devastating effects they have on our climate.
But there is more than one renewable, sustainable, and eco-friendly energy source out there beyond solar panels.
Wind energy, hydropower, geothermal power, and biomass are 4 diverse approaches to renewable energy that you can incorporate into your home.
Wind is an abundant resource that is easy to access. Air blows across the blades of wind turbines, causing them to rotate, which then converts the kinetic energy of the wind into usable mechanical energy. This mechanical energy is then rotated at high speeds to produce electricity.
The wind is produced by temperature changes in the air. Unfortunately, these changes aren’t consistent all across the planet. Thus, before launching into any projects related to wind energy in your home, ensure you have ample knowledge about the unique climate in your home’s area. Wind energy will only be useful if the wind is reliable in your home’s area.
If you find your home is located in a suitable area to harness the power of wind energy, get a small wind energy system installed. This grid-connected system can be connected to the electricity distribution system in your home. You’ll be able to power your lighting, appliances, heating and cooling systems, and charge your electric vehicle.
Make the addition of this diverse approach to renewable energy in your home to help you achieve the water, thermal comfort, and energy efficiency standards necessary to get your home approved. The BASIX certificate cost varies depending on whether you’re renovating and altering, or building anew, so keep that in mind when installing your wind turbines.
If you’re a history buff or have watched historical films, you’ll know that hydroelectric power is one of the oldest sources of electricity. In fact, hydropower is the oldest source of renewable energy in the world. It’s a classic because it works.
Hydroelectric power requires massive amounts of water and an extreme amount of force to function. A turbine is mounted in flowing water. As the water moves, it spins the blades of the turbine. This process then powers the generator that produces energy, thus producing electricity.
Hydropower is an incredibly useful approach to renewable energy in homes. If you happen to have water flowing through your property, why not consider building a small hydropower system to generate electricity? You’re essentially utilizing energy that’s already in motion rather than forcing it using another unsustainable method.
Your mini hydropower system can be used to heat your home, illuminate your home, and run your appliances. Thus, your household contributes less to greenhouse gas emissions, lowering your carbon footprint and reducing your negative effect on climate change.
Decaying radioactive particles found deep within the earth produce heat, keeping the earth’s core at a consistent, stable, and extremely high temperature. This makes it a reliable source of renewable energy.
Installing larger geothermal power systems involves a more intensive process than smaller, residential ones. The process begins by drilling holes in the ground. The drilling enables steam and water to rise to the surface, which is then used to power turbines that can produce electricity. Large-scale geothermal power systems can be used as a direct heat source as well as generating electricity.
Now, how can you introduce this diverse approach to renewable energy into your home?
The best way to harness geothermal power is by installing a new HVAC system that runs on geothermal power. A geothermal HVAC (heating and cooling) system will transfer extra heat from the ground below your property into your home during the colder winter months. In the warmer summer months, your geothermal HVAC system will transfer extra heat from within your home into the ground.
Incorporate biomass systems into your home energy system to transition to a carbon-conscious, zero-waste household.
The gist of biomass is organic material being burned or converted to a liquid or gaseous form, to produce electricity and heat. It’s important to note that the biomass process does often require environmental resources to be used that aren’t always sustainable.
For example, biomass from trees used to be the leading source of energy before the mass global adoption of fossil fuels. The wood used in the energy-producing process may not and has not always been from a sustainable source.
However, in your residential home, you have options as to what wood pellets, chips, or logs you burn in your biomass heating system. Some sources will be more sustainable and renewable than others. A biomass heating system can provide warmth to a single room, or to power your household’s entire central heating and hot water boilers.
Other possible sources of biomass fuel in homes are manure and food waste. Get a home biodigester installed on your property to transform your organic waste into cooking gas for your kitchen. This standalone system will also produce a liquid fertilizer you can use for your garden.