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Are Alternative Energy Solutions A Priority?

In my reading this week I learnt that America accounts for almost 25% of world energy consumption with just 5% of the global population.  The fact is there are billions of people who have absolutely no access to any electricity at all! In recent years there has been a lot of talk but very little progress in addressing these facts, and it seems that pursuing cheap alternative energy solutions must become a high priority.

Even leading petroleum procedures such as Shell, now admit that by 2040 more than 50% of the world’s energy will need to come from renewable resources.  (Thanks for these Solar Energy Facts) The technology is already available, tried and tested but it is ordinary people like us who have got to get involved if this is going to happen. It is no use relying on politicians because they can only see the implications for their term – not 30 years ahead!

What is my response? I now live in a house designed to effectively use solar energy to heat my house in winter and keep it cool in summer. I am getting a series of solar panels attached to my roof, as well as investigating the possibility of getting a wind turbine as well.

This is a start. Yet, what the world needs is a preparedness of those who have these resources to share them with those who don’t. That change of attitude is the key to the survival of all of us.

How Do I Find The Best Alternative Energy Solutions?

As time goes on, now more than ever before, the media is working on the viability of solar energy advantages. Perhaps you are looking for ways to be ecologically sensitive and save money at the same time. If you are annoyed at having to pay high electricity bills to a utility company which uses coal, one of the dirtiest fossil fuels available to produce energy, then take control of your future, and start generating your own electricity!

In contrast to coal, the cleanest sources of energy are solar power electricity and wind power electricity. These are both renewable sources and ecologically non invasive. But the question is, is one better than the other and which should you invest in? The truth of the matter is that in the current climate a combination of both might be the best answer.

Solar power is a great way to generate energy by collecting it in solar panels. This technology has been around for many years but recent changes have made the panels more durable and cheaper to produce which makes it an increasingly viable option. Solar hot water services use the sunlight to directly heat and circulate the water, and these have proven to be highly efficient. Solar energy has a proven track record here in Australia, and continue to be popular.

The advantages of wind energy are many and have been used for centuries, with modern wind turbines, instead of only pumping water or grinding grain, are also used to generate electricity. Some geographical locations have more wind than others, so the efficiency of this system, like solar will all depend on where you live. Also some may be put off by the fact that the set up costs for purchasing a wind turbine may be prohibitive.

However, you only need have a few basic skills and you may be able to make one yourself for a fraction of the cost. Take a look around, there are several good ebooks giving details of how to diy. The obvious difference is the same as many things, you pay more for labor than for the actual parts. Yes you will need to put some time into it but it will be worth it.

Both a wind turbine and solar panels have their advantages and combined give you more chances of producing your own green energy with at least one of them working well on a given day, giving some alternative energy solutions.

The best of both worlds: if it is overcast and cloudy most likely there will be strong winds to generate power for your home, and if there is no wind most time you will have enough sun for the solar panels to work. Having both methods gives you a balanced supply of solar power electricity and wind power electricity to take advantage of most weather conditions. With a set up like this you may be putting energy into the grid, and at the same time doing your bit to help preserve our environment for future generations.

The Wind Mill Gives Way to the Solar Panel?

One of the icons of outback Australia is the wind mill. They turn up in most paddocks, they are simple and effective means of pumping up water from artesian bores to support thirsty stock, keeping thousands of sheep and cattle alive. These wind mills are cheap to run (you don’t have to pay for wind energy) easy to build, and are usually linked to a tank to make sure that when there is no wind the stock still have water. But there is one problem, when there is prolonged drought there is often a lack of wind as well! However, I recently saw an answer to this, a solar powered water pump! This might be the beginning of a new era for the Aussie bush.

The fact is, here in Australia we have lots of solar energy available, and as technology improves we will see many more applications for solar energy. Already we have seen major advances in the efficiency of panels and the ability of utility companies to pay feed in tariffs. Given the long distances between places, it makes good sense to generate power from the sun where it is needed and not have to erect endless systems of cables to deliver it from big power stations which operate by utilizing fossil fuels.

We may still have a long way to go, however this solar powered water pump shows there are now better alternatives available.  Alternative energy solutions are becoming more available and usable.  How are you going to be part of the changing environment and what part can you do to help protect the environment?  Now is the time to decide.

Three Alternative Energy Solutions

Like  most home owners I get nervous when the quarterly Electricity bill arrives – especially during winter! I wonder where does all that power go? I may rant and rave to my kids, turn off the lights in rooms that aren’t being used and try to keep electric heaters to a minimum, but in the end I have to admit that these bills are just a fact of life! There are no alternatives to being connected to the power grid and paying whatever they charge! WRONG!

That is no longer true, it is a myth that power companies continue to peddle to keep their profit margins at max and continue to pollute the air by belching greenhouse gases from their fossil fuel power stations! Here in the 21st century there ARE alternative energy solutions, that may not totally remove my electricity bill, but will at least soften the blow. However, as usual it costs money to save money! Out of  my research I have found three alternative energy solutions that are not as far out of my reach as I was initially led to believe.

The most obvious alternative energy solution is solar power. The power from the sun is harnessed through solar panels which capture the energy, then it is fed it into an inverter making it suitable to power your general home needs with the excess being fed back into the power grid. Yes, they will even pay you for it! My investigations show that with the generous government subsides available at the moment a 1.5 KW series of panels can be connected for $2,000-$4,000 depending on quality and ease of installation.

Solar power can also be used to provide your home with free hot water! The authorities tell me that in the average Australian household hot water accounts for about 25% of the electricity account so that would make an impressive saving. The bad news is that this sort of system would cost between $2,000 and $4,000 depending on size and installation, even with some of the subsidies that are available. Yet, it has still got my attention.

The trouble with solar systems is that they only produce power while the sun is shining! So, if we are serious about alternative energy solutions we must also be prepared to at least look at wind power. In recent years there have been some quantum leaps forward in using the power of the wind to drive enormous turbines, resulting in wind farms that stretch for kilometers. That technology has now been down sized to make it available to the domestic market.These small turbines will fit in the average yard or could be mounted on your roof.  The cost? I’m still chasing that down, but I suspect somewhere between $2,000 and $4,000 for a professionally installed system, and as long as you get enough wind, it too will feed power back into the grid like solar panels.

What other alternative energy solutions are out there?  I’m sure there are some, but these 3 are the most obvious.  If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed and consider that the installation cost outweighs the returns I have also found that there are now a range of diy options beginning to show up.

Whatever you decide, it’s high time to look at alternative energy solutions and leave the power companies in the cold.