Renewable Green Energy - Options for the homeowner

 

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Renewable energy sources seem to be very popular these days, but in the USA for example, it generates less than 10 percent of the total energy produced.

The figure is similar in the UK and other European countries. A single figure percentage never sounds very much, but this is still a huge amount in terms of actual energy and the figure is growing.

The main reason for the slow growth is that renewable energy solutions, especially for homeowners and individuals usually require quite a large investment in terms of purchasing the equipment, plus the installation cost. Some systems are claimed to be DIY, but let's face it the majority of us do not want to be on a roof clinging to the chimney stack whilst wielding a spanner to secure that nut and bolt to hold the solar panel or solar water heater to the roof.

Typically a full Solar panel installation, including parts and labor to cover an average size roof of a family home could cost anywhere in the region of 5,000 to 10,000 USD. Depending on roof size, amount of panels, type of control system, and other factors.


But, this is of course a guide, and I dont really want to quote actual figures, Competition is abundant and consequently prices are reducing, as it becomes more of a buyers market and manufacturing volumes are on the increase. Also various grants and aid plans are available from governments and agencies across the world to help homeowners and small businesses to get renewable energy systems in place. In the USA, Tax credits are available and also grants can pay up to 30% of the cost of a renewable energy system. Usually to qualify for this type of rebate, the solar panel system must be safely connected to the electricity grid, be installed by a licensed contractor and have a guarantee, usually a minimum of 10-years. These kind of conditions, with slight changes, are similar in many other countries where grants and assistance programs are available.

One of the early attractions of renewable energy systems, mainly solar panels, was that during the process of helping the environment by generating clean energy, we could also make money to help offset our large initial outlay on the chosen energy system. This is achieved when the system is connected to the countries national grid and the energy that is generated by your system, that you do not consume, is measured as it goes back in to the grid. You are then payed an agreed rate. In the UK this is known as the "feed in tariff". This type of incentive varies a great deal between different countries, with at one time, Germany being the most generous.

It is highly unlikely that an individual homeowner will ever actually make a great deal of money with this kind of program, but it can help to enable a payback of the renewable system investment over an average period of somewhere between 15 to 20 years. This also means that an investment with a good quality renewable energy system can be an investment in your future and your childrens. Some might say that this is a tangible way, that is actually in our power, of leaving the world in a better place than we found it. We often use this last phrase, but it's not often we can positively act upon it.

At present the number one most cost effective renewable energy system to install is a Solar Panel system. But there are various other different types of renewable energy systems on the market for the homeowner. Some are more practical to implement than others, often depending on location, climate and other factors. These currently include, possibly in order of popularity, Solar panels for electricity generation, Solar water heating systems, Wind Turbines for electricity generation, Geo thermal heat pumps to gain energy from the locked in "hidden" heat below the ground. Others, depending on particular locations, include, Hydroelectric power generation, landfill gas and biomass units.

 It is more than likely that this list will grow in the near future.

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