What Renewable Energy System is Right For You?
The decision about renewable energy as a supplement to your current source of power or as a complete replacement
towards self sufficiency is at least a step in the right direction - away from the emission producing fossil fuel
There is now no doubt that the Co2 gases released during the burning of oil and coal are increasing the risk of
catastrophic global warming.
To think that just changing your power source may halt or reverse this may seem far fetched, but at least you
will save money and have the potential to be self sufficient in the long term.
The two main choices, wind power and home solar power
generation, have some things in common but differences in operation that may make one of them more appropriate
Wind power is certainly free to obtain and in about 90 per cent of the USA conditions are favorable for
utilizing this throughout most of the year.
A breeze of 10mph or greater will generate enough generating force for the average home and if you are on an
exposed plain or coastal location, winds will often be greater than this.
Older style residential wind
turbines were often noisy and had to be mounted on large towers, but new technology allows roof mounting and
little noise to annoy neighbors.
They are also very efficient and can give you both direct electrical power, and with batteries you can store
surplus power that can either be sold back to the utility company or used in your home's higher demand periods.
The cost of construction continues to drop as more units are demanded and the home owner with some
DIY ability can construct a turbine from kitset for a few hundred dollars in a matter of days.
Solar power shares many of the attractions of wind power in that it is free and available almost all year round
in most locations. Solar panels mounted on roofs are visually acceptable and the environmental effects minimal
They can also be constructed by the home owner, are dropping in cost, increasing in efficiency and once built
require little additional modification to your home. The return on investment in power savings can be in as little
as a few years. Having said this when the sun isn't shining, direct power will not be available.
The downside for renewable energy fans is that photo-voltaic cells collecting energy have to be matched with
battery storage systems with some environmental disposal problems. However you only need a south facing roof with
an angle at 30?, and some simple plumbing and electrical pumping equipment, to meet the hot water needs of the
In summer, solar powered air conditioning really comes in to its own as the hotter the weather gets the more
efficient the units get.
In both cases your location away from other power utility supply may dictate that renewable energy is your only
option. For these situations, to avoid the vagaries of wind and climate extremes the best option is for a
combination of both systems.
In any case, before installing a supply of your own do an accurate look at the energy demands you
currently have and where savings can be made initially. For many people once this has been done the next step is to
proceed with their own power. As more and more people go down this path the availability and cost for new
generation systems will come within the reach of all.