Read This Before Considering Renewable Energy At Home!

What is renewable energy?

What type of renewable energy?

Why use renewable energy?

Using renewable energy at home

Our planet enriches us with renewable energy, so let’s make the most of it!

What is renewable energy?

There are different forms of energy, such as:

    • traditional energies: gas, fuel oil, coal;
    • electricity from nuclear or thermal power;
    • and renewable energy, which is clean and comes from continuous and inexhaustible sources offered by our planet.

What type of renewable energy?

Renewable energy is an alternative solution to replace or complement other traditional energy sources.

5 types of energy are therefore available: solar – wind – hydraulic – geothermal, and biomass.

Solar energy

Solar energy comes, as its name suggests, from the sun. This energy can be usefully transformed into heat, electricity, or biomass.

This energy is mainly used by industry and private individuals.

It allows the development of photovoltaics, where sunlight is transformed into electrical energy through solar panels.

Wind energy

This energy is used to produce electricity through a generator.

Wind energy, therefore, uses the force of the wind.

Its disadvantage is that it generates a significant noise nuisance.

There are also mini wind turbines for individuals. These domestic wind turbines are installed on a roof or a slope.

Depending on the wind turbine’s size, the individual concerned can consume the electricity produced by it or resell it to an electricity supplier.

Hydraulic energy

It is an ancient process that allows the storage of large masses of water to transform into electricity. It is also called hydroelectricity.

It can be produced by hydroelectric power stations, some of which are fed by dams.

Geothermal energy

Geothermal power plants make use of the heat released from the earth’s core. The advantage of this energy is that it does not depend on climatic conditions or seasons.

Geothermal energy comes in two forms:

  • low temperature to heat homes;
  • high temperature, in this case, it is a means of producing electricity.

Biomass energy

This energy concerns wood, forest residues, organic and green waste, and biofuel or green gasoline.

This green gasoline is classified into two types:

  • ethanol from wheat, corn, beet, sugar cane and ;
  • biodiesel from rapeseed, sunflower, soya.

These biofuels are often blended with conventional fuels to limit the greenhouse effect.

As for wood, it has been used since the dawn of time for heating and cooking.

Why use renewable energy?

The various fossil fuels are not renewable energies and produce carbon dioxide (CO2) and other harmful gases such as methane.

The Energy and Climate Act updated the energy policy’s objectives to consider the previous years’ climate plan. It provides for the following purposes:

    • carbon neutrality by 2050;
    • a 40% reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels compared to 2012 by 2030;

To avoid an increase in the greenhouse effect and the destruction of the ozone layer, it is possible to change our habits by using renewable energy that is less dangerous for our environment.

It can also help us to reduce the cost of our electricity bills!

Using renewable energy at home

We pollute less by using renewable energies instead of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas).

Therefore, you can :

    • consider building an energy-saving house;
    • undertake energy-saving work in your current home;
    • make energy savings in insulation;
    • produce your electricity using solar or wind power;
    • use energy-saving accessories such as energy-saving light bulbs;
    • use water recuperators to save water and thus reduce your consumption bill.

The list is far from being exhaustive to use renewable energy at home or for transportation and consumption.

So that’s what you should know about renewable energy for sustainable development. Thank you for your reading, and thank you in advance for your efforts to add even more info in the comment section below to make it a hot topic.

Is Living Off-Grid Truly Sustainable?

Are you worried about rising global temperatures and climate change? You’re not the only one. With a growing frustration towards the fact fossil fuels still account for over 80% of the world’s energy consumption, more and more households are switching to the combination of solar-battery storage systems. However, the question still remains: Is going off-grid truly sustainable in the long-run?

As renewable energy becomes more prevalent and affordable, a vast majority of people are disconnecting from the grid and adopting a more eco-friendly lifestyle – particularly in rural areas where the cost to connect to the grid is high. Nevertheless, this trend doesn’t seem to have taken off with the city-dwelling crowd, where the home-field advantage the grid has over emerging technologies in terms of affordability and reliability greatly outweighs the satisfaction of being green. After all, if you were told to choose between your TV, fridge and washing machine or going green, how many people would give up their comforts? Also, solar batteries these days last about 10 years before needing to be replaced (and more often than not are discarded rather than recycled). With the carbon impact of manufacturing, supplying and disposing of these batteries – how environmentally friendly is this process really?

This is not to say that those living on the grid are not concerned with climate change, and that they are not taking steps to reduce their carbon footprints. Households all over the world are switching to energy-efficient appliances and home designs to prevent resource wastage, which has resulted in utility companies having to change their strategies or perish.

Speaking of energy companies themselves, the smartest amongst them have gone back to the drawing board in an attempt to move with the times. After all, it is common knowledge that if they continue down the same path, their assets risk becoming white elephants – worthless and redundant. After all, people are likely to continue installing solar cells, even as government subsidies reduce, until such time as the grid is completely emissions-free, or at least as close to it as possible. Therefore, it is in the companies’ best interests to stop using fossil fuels, thereby limiting the incentive for people to switch away from the grid.

If you’re looking for examples of companies that have learnt from the current market trends and subscribe to the idea that household renewable assets needn’t always be consumer-owned, consider SolarCity, who provide solar panels that you can lease rather than buy. They have given a clear answer to the question of whether energy utilities should focus on looking for ways to work with start-ups to facilitate the roll-out of solar and storage at scale with an empathic yes.

And who said that the renewable energy generated by each household can’t be shared? Imagine subscribing to energy via a sharing platform and using an app to trade energy with other people and businesses. To make this future smart city scenario possible, we need to continue to invest in emerging technologies, to commercialize the ones that show promise, and to optimize the ones we already know work well. Tesla’s PowerWall is today’s high-profile home battery storage product, but there’s no shortage of players lining up to compete, ultimately putting downward pressure on costs, which will drive further mass-market appeal and adoption of these smart solutions.

And let’s not forget the power of joint effort. We need only look at today’s smartest cities for inspiration. The successful citizen solar power plants initiative, a joint effort between Wien Energy and the city of Vienna, Austria, has offered locals the opportunity to invest in the city’s solar plants to help achieve its renewable energy objectives.

The switch to renewable energy has already been flicked. Smart utilities that are willing to drive change toward a cleaner future will prosper – but it’s going to take breaking a lot of old habits to sustain.

Want to share your views on sustainable issues and living off-grid? Drop us a line in the comments below.