Supplying energy to our homes in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way is one of the biggest challenges we face, and one that needs solving before we finally run out of the fossil fuels used to generate so much of the energy we use. The demand on energy supply also pushes the price of energy up, which we see on our gas and electricity bills.
So what can we do to work towards more sustainable and affordable energy? Different countries benefit from different options around sustainability. It’s all we can do not to turn green with envy looking north to Iceland where geothermal and hydrothermal energy can be harnessed to generate hot water and electricity in a properly sustainable and natural way. Underneath the volcanic surface of Iceland bubbles natural hot springs that can reach the surface at over 200˚c, and be pumped to the homes of Icelanders without any need to artificially heat the water. In the same way, naturally occurring waterfalls provide enough energy to generate significant electricity for Iceland.
But even here in the UK we’re not entirely bereft of sustainable energy sources. Although it might seem like a nuisance most of the time, we get a pretty hefty 40% of the wind energy that blows across Europe, which means we can generate significant energy through wind turbines. These large bits of kit each contain a turbine which generates electricity when the large blades rotate in strong winds. The stronger the wind, the harder the turbines work and the more electricity can be produced.
Wind turbines sometimes get a bad rap as an eyesore, whereas others think that there is a certain beauty in watching energy being created naturally and without damaging the environment. Some people even criticise wind turbines for killing birds and bats, but in fact many thousands more are killed every year through mining and drilling for fossil fuels, as well as other much more harmful human and wildlife related activities. With a desperate need to establish renewable energy sources, wind turbines are one of the options that must be considered.
If you are looking to reduce both your energy bills and carbon footprint there are a few things you can do. You can search for a cheap energy supplier; use smartphoneapps to make savings and just as you can opt to add solar panels to the roof of your house to generate electricity and heat, you can also install a small wind turbine. These turbines last for a good twenty years and on particularly windy days you can store any extra energy for use on days where the wind eases off. Every little helps, and along with recycling, cutting down on driving and using energy saving appliances it can have a real impact to look into alternative energy sources too.