What exactly does renewable energy mean for us?

Business Insights

Nowadays terms like renewable energy and sustainability are the buzz words on everyone's lips, from businesses to at home! Despite all this talk and hype there are still many misconceptions about renewable energy and what it really means for us and future generations.

So, let's take a step back … what actually is renewable energy?

The term renewable energy refers to any energy source that can be utilised multiple times. A lump of coal therefore isn't renewable, because once burned to create energy it cannot be used again.

A resource like solar, however, is renewable and ‘carbon-free', energy is absorbed from the sunlight and turned into electric current.

How efficient is renewable energy?

Using renewable energy is generally far more efficient than fossil fuels, because of course it is renewable! Typically, you don't have to mine or work hard to source the fuel, it is naturally abundant.

The output of many non-renewable fuels is also vastly inefficient. Coal for example only gives off 29% of its original value in energy. Wind in contrast provides 1,164% of its original value in energy.

A pretty huge difference!

Why should we consider renewable energy for homes and businesses?

Choosing renewable energy sources for electricity and heating is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, improve sustainability and reduce your energy costs.

All these technologies work alone or alongside each other; we've found combining technologies can have a huge impact on reducing running costs and efficiencies for homes and businesses alike. Utilising an ASHP requires electricity to extract the energy from the air, so by working this alongside a Solar PV system you are avoiding the fluctuating costs of electricity from the grid and using battery storage means the power generated can be stored until needed rather than exporting it back to the grid.

Let's delve a little deeper into the solutions available:

    Solar PV

You can generate electricity through solar photovoltaic panels, harnessing the solar power already hitting your roof or ground space!

Panels can generate power throughout daylight hours, and it doesn't need to be a bright sunny day – although on these days you will generate more power. Power generated during these hours can be stored in batteries so you can continue to utilise what you generate; any excess can be sold to the national electricity grid.

The cost of solar installation might surprise you too, with panel prices reducing across the past year as technology and manufacturing processes improve.

    Air Source Heat Pumps

This renewable heating system is at the forefront of discussions and disagreements, with questions regarding efficiency and running costs.

One of the main benefits of an ASHP is it's a more sustainable heating option compared to traditional oil or gas systems; and as a system typically operates at 350% efficiency! These systems work by extracting energy from the air and using it to warm your home. Plus, they work in all temperatures and are capable of extracting heat from the air and heating your home even in temperatures as low as -15oC.

The UK Government is currently offering grants of £7,500 towards the installation of a heat pump in home – find out more here: Bus services: grants and funding - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Speak to Caplor Energy for advice on renewable sources of energy for your home.

Visit https://caplor.co.uk/