Our electricity mostly comes from nuclear, oil, coal and other non-renewable sources. This leads to toxic waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and eventually, global warming. This dependency on non-renewable sources of energy is hurting our food sources, environment and climate.
The great thing is that there’s a solution to saving the environment and having sustainable energy. Ironically, the answer lies in nature. Nature is where we can find renewable, non-toxic and cost-effective energy.
Renewable energy, also called clean energy, is generated from natural sources that are naturally and constantly replenished. Clean energy is not only great for the environment, it’s a sustainable way to save money in years to come.
Here are four ways you can power your home with renewable energy.
Solar panels help harness energy from the sun then convert it into electrical or thermal energy. Today, solar energy is probably the most popular form of renewable energy.
Solar panels are typically installed on the rooftop, but they can also be placed in the yard. Depending on the location and orientation, a domestic solar panel can produce anywhere from around 225 watts to more than 320 watts. For example, Panasonic produced solar panels that can provide 340 watts, meanwhile, there are brands like Solaria that are able to produce up to 400 watts.
A typical household can power most appliances using between 3000 and 6000 watts. So, let’s say you have 5 hours of direct sunlight. Multiply 5 that by 340W and you’ll get 1700 watts per solar panel. If you had four solar panels then you’re capable of generating 6,800 watts.
One disadvantage of solar energy is that it works best when the sun is up. You have to live in a place that’s exposed to sunlight in order to get the most out of your solar panels.
Wind turbines convert wind’s kinetic energy into electricity. They are growing sources of renewable energy run by large companies worldwide. Some of the biggest wind power companies in the world are GE Renewable Energy in the U.S, Siemens in Germany, Vestas in Denmark, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan, and Enel Green Power in North America.
In America, 18 percent of energy comes from renewable sources. You’ll often stumble upon wind farms if you go through the Midwest. Wind is a powerful source of renewable energy and it’s readily available whether it’s on land or water.
One (1) megawatt can provide electricity for about 330 average-sized houses for an hour. To be clearer, an average wind turbine can generate enough energy in 94 minutes to provide electricity for an average household for a month.
However, it takes up a lot of space and makes a lot of noise. But, if you live in an area where wind turbines are allowed and you’re not bothered by the noise, then this is a great option. Depending on where you live, this might be a better choice than solar energy.
This is a renewable energy system that’s powerful but not applicable to all. Hydropower or water power uses fast-flowing or falling water to produce electricity. Not everyone lives in an area where there’s water flowing through the property. However, it can be one of the most consistent and simplest forms of renewable energy.
Hydropower plants can quickly generate power to the grid and this makes them essential in providing back-up power during electricity disruptions.
Solar Water Heating and Air Conditioning
Another way renewable energy can power your home is through solar water heating and conditioning. Electricity isn’t the only purpose of solar power, you can also use the sun’s power to heat your house.
You can use solar water heaters to heat water. This is more cost-effective than using electricity or gas, and easier to install.
Similarly, you can use the same technology used to heat your water, to power your air conditioning system.
If you’re not yet sold on the idea of powering your entire household with renewable energy, solar water heating and air conditioning might be a good place to start.
Electricity is important, however, it doesn’t have to negatively impact our environment every time we use it. One of the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, toxic waste and reliance on fossil fuels is by transitioning to renewable energy. Not only are you getting more energy from an infinite source, like the sun, you’re also decimating your monthly bills and helping the future generation experience a better world.
You can take it slowly, or if you plan on moving some day, go on an app for investing in real estate and find a property that’s ideal for running on the renewable energy source you have in mind.
We all have a long way to go and many battles to fight in order to eradicate toxic waste, air & water pollution, and climate change. For now, it’s best to do what we can and as early as we can.