Renewable energy is one of the hot topics of today. With concerns that fossil fuels are running out and causing irreversible damage to the environment, businesses and homes alike are embracing the world of renewable energy.
Apple goes green
Environmental groups have welcomed the announcement from globally-renowned gadget firm Apple that its data centres now use 100% renewable energy and that the organisation as a whole uses 75% renewables.
In 2011, environmental watchdog Greenpeace condemned Apple’s decision to locate its iDataCenter to North Carolina which has an electrical grid that is among the ‘dirtiest’ in the US (61% coal, 31% nuclear).
In a scathing report, the watchdog condemned the decision which was claimed to show a “lack of corporate commitment to clean energy”. However, it seems that Apple has bucked-up its ideas since then with the addition of two huge solar arrays to the North Carolina site as well as fuel cells for back-up.
The American multinational corporation, whose flagship product is the coveted iPhone, has made good on its promise from May 2012 to move entirely to renewable energy with its total energy consumption predominantly supplied by renewable energy (75%).
How can renewable energy be incorporated into your home?
To follow in Apple’s footsteps and generate clean energy, there are plenty of options available to homeowners – and here are a few of them:
A solar panel works alongside your existing system to provide you with hot water for free when the sun shines, making significant savings as well reducing your carbon footprint. These can be fitted to your home to generate clean energy and if you produce more than you use then you can sell it back to the National Grid through the Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) scheme.
In addition to these large-scale changes you can also invest in portable solar chargers which help replenish the power of personal electronics and gadgets using nothing but the sun.
Alternatively, you can try heat pumps. Air source heat pumps harvest warmth from the air outside and can be used to generate heat for radiators, supply you with hot water or even used for underfloor heating. They are also a great way to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and make big savings on energy bills.
You may be used to seeing large wind turbines in rural fields but smaller versions of the technology can be fitted to your home to generate energy too. Almost half (40%) of the wind energy in Europe makes its way across the UK and a micro-wind or small-wind turbine could help you tap into this resource and generate some of your own electricity.
For those lucky enough to own land which contains a river or water source, you may also be able to make use of hydropower. This is a great option for those not connected to the National Grid although the installation costs can be a little high.
Choosing your renewable
Whichever renewable energy source you opt for, remember to use MCS Accredited Installers who demonstrate compliance to industry standards and guarantee the highest quality when it comes to installation. You want to make sure you’re getting the best out of your green energy generator and this can only be achieved if you use the appropriate certified individuals or companies to fit it for you.
This is a guest post submitted by Simon Colley on behalf of Renewables Guide. Away from work Simon likes putting into practice what he learns at work by improving the energy efficiency of his own home. Image source
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