We all know that saving our energy is vital.
For some of us it has even become a lifestyle. We turn off the lights when we leave a room, never would we leave the tap on while we are brushing our teeth, and we are switching of our appliances while not in use; since leaving them on stand by is just not an option any more. This has not always been obvious for all of us, for some, it became a necessity to change the way they live because of the horrendous and dreaded energy bill; which seems to be an unpleasant surprise every time. The average UK household spend 1300 GBP a year on their energy bill.
The question has always been on how much we can save on next months bill. How about investing in our future? So we can save money and the environment.
The majority of the UK’s electricity comes from burning fossil fuels (e.g. coal, oil and gas), which creates carbon dioxide, this is a major contributor to climate change. Over 40% of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions, comes from the energy we use in our every day electricity usage.
Climate change is due to pollution. Excessive amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a form of pollution, this is creating a “blanket” that surounds the earth and captures the heat. This is what we call global warming. The natural green house effect normally keeps our average temperature at 15°C, the “blanket” is causing this temperature to rise.
This is effecting our environment in a way where global warming has created longer heat waves in some areas, and in others the cause has been heavier rainfalls which has resulted in flooding. Vulnerable species such as coral reefs and polar animals have been largely effected because of the warmer waters and rising of the sea level.
It is time to start looking into other, more sustainable and environmentally friendly options for us to heat, and light up our houses. A better solution is to generate our own energy from reusable sources. There are some options that have been around, tried and tested while others are new developments.
Solar panels that convert sunlight into electricity have been around for over a 100 years. The small cells that do this consist of one or two layers of a semi conducting material, usually silicon, When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers causing electricity to flow. The greater the intensity of the light, the greater the flow of electricity.
Around about the same time the multi-blade windmill were used to generate electricity. Wind turbines use the wind’s lift forces to rotate aerodynamic blades that turn a rotor which creates electricity.
One of the latest developments is the tidal turbine. Much like a wind turbine, a tidal turbine will be installed in an area of increased tidal flow on the sea floor in order to capture the maximum amount of tidal energy during the rise and fall of the tide. Maine Maritime Academy in Castine (Maine, United States), has obtained a permit to install a turbine device sometime in the next three years from the United States Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC), with an option to renew the permit once the tidal energy turbines are online. If the academy is successful in their latest initiative, we may soon be adding tidal energy to the growing list of viable alternative energy sources.
These are cheaper and greener alternatives for your home and our future. Developing these in a commercially viable way will take a large commitment for government and the tax payer today but a sure to lead us to a happier future for you, your family and the environment.