Environmental worries corroborated with the growing problem of fossil fuel exhaustion and increased costs for traditional energy have prompted people towards finding eco-friendly energy sources which will limit pollution and decrease costs. Nowadays, green energy is a growing trend among residential users and electricity providers all over the world. While the conversion seems troublesome for the large companies, domestic users have already started to switch their homes to renewable energy in order to reduce the impact on the environment as well as on their budgets.
Sun and wind can be transformed into energy with the appropriate equipment. A house located in an area which receives sunlight most of the year can be powered via solar panels positioned on the roof or in the back yard (where possible), while an establishment placed in a windy area can use wind turbines to produce electricity and thus gain its independence from the local energy grid. Areas which have both sun and wind constantly can make use of solar panels and wind turbines in order to increase the amount of energy produced.
Advantages associated with green energy
Green energy is much more than a back-up solution or a trend invented by environmentalists. Both sun and wind generated energy provide a sustainable option to traditional, coal and oil generated power. The advantages of going green when it comes to power sources are undeniable and can convince even the most reticent consumer into giving it a try.
• No pollution – the first and probably most obvious advantage of obtaining energy from renewable sources is the fact that carbon emissions will be limited. We may not be able to fix all the damage which has been done so far, but we can surely diminish the damage to be done in the future.
• No more drilling for fossils – fossil exploitation has deprived many areas of their natural beauty and potential. The green energy equipment is designed so as to have a minimum effect on the areas in which they are installed, so as the natural habitat can be preserved and protected.
• No hazardous accidents – factories producing electricity present a high risk for hazardous accidents. Uncontrolled spills or explosions may contaminate and destruct the environment and put people’s lives in danger. Green energy does not pose such problems, as all equipment is nature-friendly.
• Reduced cost per energy produced– there is a steaming debate about the high costs of necessary equipment to produce renewable energy. While the initial costs may be indeed relatively high, the tendency is for them to decrease significantly in the next years. Once the investment has been amortized, there is no other cost associated with the green energy production, thus people benefit from free electricity. Furthermore, if the solar panels or wind turbines are connected to the local grid, they can make the scale go backwards or even get some extra money for the unused power.
• Inexhaustible resources – since the green energy is obtained from “renewable” sources (sun and wind), the risk associated with the loss of resources is nonexistent. As long as the sun will shine and the wind will blow, people will be able to enjoy electricity.
Solar panels are probably the most popular sources of green energy. Versatile and easy to install, the panels present numerous advantages for residential users. The environmental aspect is the first aspect which must be mentioned. However, apart from their eco-friendly features, the solar panels are also budget friendly, as once installed, they provide free electricity. Furthermore, the solar panels can be mounted gradually, starting with a few panels which cover half (or even less) of the electricity bill. In time new panels can be added, so that the house can eventually become independent from the local grid.
Other advantages associated with solar energy include:
• Minimum to no maintenance costs;
• Easy to set up on the roof or in the back yard;
• Available for DIY installation;
• Capacity of working in parallel with the traditional grid;
• New generation panels are capable to function in cloudy days.
Solar panels have registered a significant increase in popularity, as only in 2011 their number has increased by 74% worldwide. This was due mainly to the building of new solar plants. However, residential consumers are also highly interested in this type of green energy. The two main complaints associated with solar panels is their low efficiency (a normal house would need an average of 40 solar panels to become independent from the local grid, hence the need for more space) and the costs associated with the investment.
The wind powers electrical appliances in houses all over the world. Over 80 countries have wind turbines and their number is estimated to grow as more and more people realize the need of switching to renewable sources of energy. In fact, people from Samso Island, a Danish community of 4,000 is using only wind generated energy to power their appliances and other communities seem to consider the idea.
The advantages associated with this type of green energy are numerous. Apart from the above mentioned environmental benefits, the wind turbines resolve some of the solar panel fallout’s:
• The wind turbine requires less space than the solar panels;
• One turbine can provide enough energy to supply for one or more houses;
• The turbine’s footing and tower are relatively small which enable residents to use the remaining space for gardening;
The cost of the wind turbines and of their installation may restrict the access to this green energy. However, the constant improvements brought to the necessary equipment as well as its price drop-down from the latest years are serious reasons to believe that the wind power will become accessible for domestic use in the foreseeable future.
Switching to green energy can be done gradually (with solar panels) or in one step (with wind turbines). If you plan to take your environmental care one step further and enjoy the benefits of electricity from renewable sources, it is advisable to consult with a specialist about the best options available for your area. They will present you with plans and give you useful information which will help you make the most of your eco-friendly energy providing equipment.
For more information visit Wikipedia or Wind Energy Basics.