Is ‘Renewable’ energy our future

Is ‘Renewable’ energy our future

If you’re wondering if ‘Renewable’ energy is the future, then the simple answer is no! It’s the present, and you may be missing out on some vital information that will make you happier, healthier and better off financially.

Perhaps, like me, when you were growing up anything that wasn’t generated by burning coal, oil, natural gas and LPG (liquid petroleum gas) was called ‘Alternative’ energy.  At some point we realised there wasn’t an alternative, as the traditional sources of fuel would run out relatively quickly and they were also slowly poisoning both us and the planet.  With the realisation that the fuel we were using wasn’t sustainable on any level, the onetime ‘alternative’ started to be called ‘renewable energy’. The only choice if you wanted a future.   

 

We’ve been hearing tales of doom and gloom about fossil fuels for as long as we can remember but we’re all still here.  Do we really need to even think about renewable energy? After all, we are lucky enough to live in Scotland, the country that produces more oil than anyone in the European Union? *  Not only are we producing lots, we have huge deposits. The United Kingdom has enough oil reserves to sustain production for the next 20 years and beyond, however significant investment is needed to get it and develop new fields. *  That cost is passed onto you and me when we use these fuels. This massive financial outlay isn’t the only consideration we should make when contemplating the use of fossil fuels.

A recent Harvard University study highlighted the health and environmental hazards that stem from coal exploration, extraction, processing, transport and simply burning it in a fire.  The study also explored the huge levels of air and water pollutants created. They estimate this is costing the U.S. public up to half a trillion dollars a year in health care and associated costs. * Meanwhile here in the UK between twenty-eight thousand and thirty-six thousand deaths a year are attributed to long-term exposure to air pollution. *

When you hear all that, the fact that we’re still using fossil fuels seems a little crazy.  First off there’s the daunting financial cost associated with discovering and recovering new deposits.  Then there’s the horrendous health implications that are also passed onto us and our families, no matter where we are or even if we’re using them or not.  The most insane reason for still using these old-fashioned fuels surely must be that they are destroying the entire planet we live on.

Burning fossil fuels produces greenhouse gases that are having a global impact on temperature and weather systems. *  The Greenhouse Effect is an accumulation of fossil fuels like coal and oil that we’ve been burning for more than one hundred years.  This is responsible for creating global warming which in turn is creating climate change and that’s already having visible effects on the world.  As the Earth warms, rainfall patterns are changing, and sea levels are rising. These changes can increase the risk of heatwaves, floods, droughts, and fires.

Scotland may be leading the European Union in oil production, but our renewable energy is the envy of the world.  Last year the Scottish Government reported that they were on track to generate the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s electricity demand from renewable sources by the end of this year. *

The government have obviously seen the benefits of investing in renewable energy but are there advantages for domestic users like you and me?

Actually, there are a handful of great reasons to switch to renewables.  The obvious ones are that renewable energy generation gives off little to no greenhouse gases or toxins into the air so we’re helping decrease and contributing to an overall healthier atmosphere. 

Some people are attracted to these technologies because, in most cases, there’s less overall maintenance than generators that use traditional fuel sources. A good example of this is a comparison with modern gas boilers.  If you’re boiler fitter tells you he can get a boiler with a 10 year guarantee you think you’ve got a real bargain.

The natural thing to do is divide the cost by ten so you know how much it’s costing you each year. With a renewable energy heat pump though, you’ll be doing that calculation based not on a ten-year life span, but twenty-five years!

Longevity and low maintenance are traits of renewable generating technology, as they often have few or no moving parts and don’t rely on flammable, combustible fuel sources to operate.  Fewer maintenance requirements translate to more time and money saved. I also love that sunshine, wind, tides, and biomass, to name just a few, don’t run out. 

For me though the number one “tick in the box”, is that you simply save money.  When you’re using a technology that generates power from the sun, wind, steam, or natural processes, you don’t have to pay to refuel. 

Think about that for a moment….and once you’ve thought about it get in touch for a complimentary assessment of how much you could be saving.