Environment Technology

Environment Technology

Is Renewable Energy Technology Really Available to Homeowners

Posted by admin on June 5, 2012 in Renewable Energy with 5 Comments

With the rising energy costs and effects of Global Warming so prevalent today, many people are wondering if there is truth to the concept of renewable energy technology. There also appears to be confusion between alternative energy technology and renewable energy technology. Alternative energy encompasses all renewable energy sources, but includes things like nuclear power and energy from municipal waste. These are carbonaceous examples. Renewable energy technology focuses on energy that is replaced as it is being used, such as solar energy and wind energy.

With that clear, are there truly benefits on a home or small business level to renewable solar technology? Absolutely. Truthfully, by utilizing renewable energy technology on a home level you can save yourself thousands of dollars each year. Renewable Energy technology has gained popularity in recent years and it has become increasingly easy to meet your home’s energy needs with just a little handyman work. With the information available about renewable energy technology, it is possible to build renewable energy products, such as a windmill or solar panel, on your own. Do-it-yourselfers are saving huge amounts of pocket change by building and installing these systems themselves. If you have the money to invest in a commercial professionally installed system, in general these are more efficient, however, savings can still be realized, and at a much faster rate, by researching and building your own renewable energy systems.

Renewable energy technology is advancing with each day. Solar electrical systems have advanced from giant roof panels to thin layers of film that are twice as conductive and work with less sunlight. There are now solar powered charges for cell phones, batteries and other small household items. Windmills have been made more aerodynamic for greater action and electricity generation. Renewable energy technology can even be seen along today’s highways as small solar/wind operation stations powering signs and lights.

Many homeowners today are looking into integrating green energy sources for developing more energy efficient homes and businesses. A green energy source is power generated through renewable resources, such as the sun, wind and water. The other benefit of green energy sources is their low contribution to global warming, pollution and other environmental issues.

The most popular of green energy sources is the sun. Energy captured from the sun is called solar energy. Of the green energy sources, solar energy is the most popular because it offers multiple options for use. It is possible to harness electrical energy from the sun using solar panels consisting of photovoltaic cells that convert energy from the sun into electricity you can use in your home or business. There are also solar hot water collectors that use the heat of the sun to produce hot water. These solar green energy sources are readily available and increasing in popularity as most homes and businesses can have them mounted on their roof and they can take advantage of lowered utility costs.

The most efficient of green energy sources is wind. Wind has been used to power water pumps for centuries, but has grown in popularity as a way to supplement home and business electricity needs. Wind is the safest and cleanest of the green energy sources as it produces no pollutants and does not contribute to global warming. Wind energy is harnessed by erecting a turbine that spins in the breeze generating electricity. Unlike the sun, which can be found almost anywhere, in order to utilize wind as a green energy source, you must live in an area where wind is readily available.

Water is also a viable participant of green energy sources. Water is less widely used as a green energy source for homes, as not all homes have an available stream to produce the needed electricity. The Amish have used water to power entire shops using conveyer belt systems, so it is an old practice, but it is still being used successfully today. As with solar and wind energy, energy harnessed from moving water is almost completely pollutant free and is generated from a renewable resource.

Corrado Vinci

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  1. Chris BJune 5, 2012 - 7:05 am #1

    Can you generate renewable energy for profit on a small scale?
    Not considering the cost of the technology used for generation, is it feasible to generate renewable energy specifically for the purpose of selling it back to the utility companies?

    I’ve been searching for information for quite some time and I’ve been unable to find any that really applies. Yes, in many states homeowners are able to sell surplus energy back to the utilities, but there seem to be extremely low limits on the amount.

    Obviously, the large renewable energy farms are negotiating directly with the utilities for buyback of their energy. On a small-scale, is this possible? Are there any resources available for research? I’m located in Ohio if that helps, but I’m considering other locations as well if this is a legitimate possibility.
    Based on the first answer, let me add the following details: I’m not concerned with the rate at which they purchase it, the question is whether or not they will definitely purchase it. Or, do you get to the point where they simply disconnect your operation from the grid?
    One more addition: I’m not asking if it’s cost-effective, but rather if it’s possible. In this example, let’s just say that I have $50k worth of solar panels laying around. Could I hook them up, connect them to the grid, and sell energy to the utility?

  2. linlyonsJune 5, 2012 - 12:07 pm #2

    depends on state regulations.
    probably not.
    the reason is that the utility has to pay for the distribution network.
    you pay more for the electricity that you buy at home than it costs to produce because the utility has all of the other overhead costs.

    in calif, the regulations state that the utility pays a user full price, up to the limit of his use, but no more than that.
    that’s pretty fair — in fact, more than fair, for a user that is.
    References :

  3. GreenthJune 5, 2012 - 12:09 pm #3

    It is possible to get close to being cost effective by using micro combined heat and power that must have a profitable use for the surplus heat. A number of operations do this utilising locally available biomass. For a single household the option is limited by the small scale of the plant and the fact that the plant is not run for long enough.

    Here are some USA examples and if you hunt around online you will find plenty other examples.

    References :

  4. John WJune 5, 2012 - 12:11 pm #4

    Commercial co-generation agreements with utilities will require more control over the power generation than residential solar PV or wind power can provide. This is because there’s only value if the power is available when needed and asked for. The utilties will require the ability to either isolate you from their grid or require you to either load shed or increase your generation from their control system.

    Therefore you would either have to provide equivalent gas turbine or diesel generation capability to meet your contractual commitments or you would need something like micro-hydro where you generate the power on demand.

    That’s not to say that you couldn’t be a small scale provider however you could only sell energy contracts at a fraction of your generation capacity in order to account for the unpredictability of solar PV and wind.

    Usually the residential buyback is at 50% retail rate after a certain allowance at full retail rate. There’s also programs where the utilities will pay for and install the solar PV system provided you sign a contract to guarantee that you will purchase a specific amount of power from them over a specific period of time. The residential programs essentially ensure that you will still on average be a net consumer.
    References :

  5. whsgreenmomJune 5, 2012 - 12:13 pm #5

    Yes and it is happening all over the midwest. Small farms are joining a coop of sorts to put up windmills. The company that helps them get the funding gets their money by taking advantage of federal and state tax credits, in a few years they have made their profits and the windmill becomes the sole property of the farmer, they then receive all the profits from the generated electricity.
    References :

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