19 Apr Debunking misconceptions around Green Energy
There are many myths surrounding problems with green energy, and potential limitations of its various uses, which can be unhelpful in casting doubt into the minds of those who may otherwise consider it a legitimate solution to pollution caused by fossil fuels. In this blog, we look at the most common misconceptions, and how valid they may or may not be.
Solar Panels? But Britain is too cold!
Solar panels are one of the few renewable energy sources available to homeowners without the need to consult an energy company, as they can be fixed directly onto any property. In Britain, many homeowners struggle to see the point of installing them given the cooler climate that we live in, with many wrongly assuming they won’t work properly. Contrary to popular opinion, however, solar panels operate most effectively in cold, sunny conditions. Higher temperatures reduce the panel’s efficiency as conductivity increases in colder temperatures, making electricity flow more efficiently. When seeing the same amount of light, a solar panel will conduct more electricity in colder temperatures than it will in warm ones, therefore. So when Britain does see a particularly bright day but at a lower temperature than its Mediterranean counterparts, for example, this is actually the perfect condition for solar panels to operate at capacity.
Wind Energy isn’t reliable enough
Traditional forms of energy production like nuclear, coal and gas are theoretically available 24/7 and do not rely on external variables in order to be so. Doubts arising around wind power are perfectly understandable, therefore, and questions around what happens when the wind isn’t blowing are entirely expected. In reality, all energy is stored, however, and is more widely known as ‘baseload power’. Therefore, the more energy that is generated by wind, the more we have in reserve – it’s that simple. It could also be argued that it’s easier to see when such energy stores are likely to be called upon, as weather patterns are able to tell us when the wind is likely to drop off – a luxury not available to us when it comes to monitoring most fossil fuel levels.
In addition to this, all traditional energy supplies have moments where they are unreliable and are prone to spike in price, where wind energy as an immeasurable energy source is not. In the US in 2015, the polar vortex caused nuclear power to both spike in price, and fail completely. Wind energy then supplied 61 million individuals with reliable and cheap energy, making a saving of $1billion in the process by helping them avoid the spike in nuclear power costs. So although wind turbines may not operate at full capacity all the time, it’s important to remember that other power sources can fail too.
Hydropower is bad for the environment
Hydropower is a very cheap and clean way of providing energy. It is also by far the most efficient with the ability to convert 90% of the energy harnessed into useable power. In being this efficient, hydropower currently accounts for 21% of the world’s energy supply.
It also contributes zero pollution to the air or the ocean, although there are concerns that drastic changes experienced after the introduction of energy harnessing apparatus into water are having a detrimental effect on ecosystems globally. Making significant changes to any natural environment will always cause side effects, but these changes are being minimised as much as possible and designs amended to ensure ecosystems affected benefit wherever feasible. In the Columbia River, the introduction of hydropower technology made it difficult for salmon to jump up stream to their spawning grounds, for example, so a ‘fish ladder’ was introduced to enable them to bypass the hydropower technology and reach their spawning ground safely.
Things to remember
Although there are still some aspects which need ironing out when it comes to green energy, developments to ensure the various sources currently available are as efficient and reliable as possible are ongoing. And despite the negatives, renewable energies still offer a significant amount of advantages when it comes to improving on the environmental impact associated with more traditional fossil fuels. With this in mind, although fossil fuels will still play their part, increasing focus is likely to be placed on the development of renewable energies for years to come.
Making the most of energy, whatever its source is incredibly important for all homeowners. Not only can renewable energy help the environment, it can also reduce bills. Insulation is a sure way of saving energy, and educating staff in the proper installation of it is vital to ensure energy use reaches its full potential. If you would like to know more about being trained in the application of revolutionary technology, get in touch today by phone on 01656 662 096 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.