How Renewable Energy Can Be Cost Effective

Make Money From Solar and Wind Power

Solar and wind power are readily available power sources, and the one reason why everybody is not using them yet is that up until now green energy has been too cost-prohibitive.

Until more people choose to use renewable energy, the cost of producing those types of energy will remain high. However, governments worldwide are realizing the benefits of these technologies and thus offering incentives for people who decide to use solar energy and wind power. wind farm

The Energy Policy Act makes installing solar and wind power affordable options through the use of tax credits which range from $50 to $2000. Rebates are available as well. There are a range of renewable energy incentive programs available for consumers.

The North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council were key developers of the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE); this database describes what resources and incentives are available for Americans who wish to consider renewable energy options.

A great thing about renewable energy is that if you generate enough you can sell it back to the utility company. The 1978 Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act states that if individuals or businesses generate excess amounts of power through renewable energy, the utility company must buy it at wholesale cost.

Solar & Wind Energy Systems

Electricity can be generated from sunlight through the use of the photo voltaic (PV) cell, which converts light energy into electrical energy using the process called the photo voltaic effect. Sunlight hits the PV cell, and the cell then transforms light energy into an electrical signal. The electrical signal is then converted into electrical power. The same principles apply to a small solar power system as to a large scale solar power system.

If you have a large area (more than an acre) of land at your disposal then you may be able to turn that into power too. For people who live in a rural location or on an empty block, wind power is a cost-effective and renewable source of power. Even if you only have minimal natural air movement, your home can at least produce some electricity in a cost-effective manner.

Depending how much wind you have on your property you could possibly save 50% to 90% on your electricity bill. Combining wind power with solar power could potentially mean that you never have to pay a power bill ever again.

To measure how much wind power you have available at your home you need to have the correct measuring equipment. Windsocks are available which indicate the speed of the wind as well. More accurate equipment is available at a science or weather equipment store.

Wind resource maps detail the estimated yearly electricity production available from a wind turbine. These maps are based on an average wind speed, but if you are going to rely fully on wind power, you will want to make sure that you get consistent wind speeds at your location.

The Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the United States is available on the Wind Technology Center website (www.nrel.gov/wind). More than likely you will want to have a battery system where you can store the generated power.

Getting Started

If you are concerned about the damage that fossil fuels are doing to the environment and are looking for other options, then solar and wind energy are your best bet. You do not have to fully commit to a wind- or solar-powered system; instead, think about the small changes you can make. For starters, you may want to install solar panels on your roof. There are a range of styles available which fit into nearly any budget.solar panels

By combining green-building techniques as well as active solar systems, you can create a home that harnesses as many kilowatts of energy a year as it uses. Yes, you can create a zero-energy home by combining technologies such as solar water collectors and photo voltaic panels.

That said, passive solar design can be just as useful in creating a zero-energy home. Talk to an engineer who will be able to give you the best advice about how you should build your home to take advantage of both the sun and the wind.

You need to make sure that your house is orientated in the right position, that your windows are in the right spot, and that you have an appropriate overhang. This can cut heating bills by up to 80%, and the energy costs can be minimized or fully covered by utilizing wind and solar power.

9 More Ways To Be Energy Efficient & Save Money

1. Front-loading washing machines are gaining popularity and use much less electricity than standard top-loader models. Another benefit of front loaders is that they use far less soap and spin the water faster with less vibration. If you are thinking about replacing your top-loader washing machine, why not replace it with a more efficient style?

2. Another way to instantly save money is to hang washing on the line outside or on drying racks rather than placing the clothes in the machine. It requires no energy at all and is a task that can be completed in minutes.

3. Get rid of appliances that use large amounts of water and cost you a lot of electrical energy to run. These appliances include large aquariums, swimming pools and spas. A heated aquarium uses a lot of energy, mostly for controlling the tank temperature. If you can’t fathom the thought of not having fish as pets, then sell the big aquarium and purchase a small glass fish bowl.fish tank

4. It’s a great idea to insulate your water heater if it is not already internally insulated with foam. If it’s old, it’s best to replace it entirely. To find out if your water heater is internally insulated, all you need to do is look at the opening of the water heater where the pipes emerge from the tank.

Look at the pipe fitting to see if there is a plastic trim piece around the pipe. If you wrap your heater with a tank wrap, you will save some energy on your monthly utility bill.

5. Have you thought about installing a solar water heater? If you have some spare income and have real interest in living sustainably then one of these is highly recommended. At approximately $10,000 a pop, however, it is a decision that takes a bit of thought.

Solar water heaters are great if you have some wall area or an unshaded roof that faces south as you can reap the benefits for decades. It’s important that you speak to your solar expert, who will be able to give you advice on the type and size of solar water heater that you should utilize depending on the size of your house, the location of your house and the number of people in your household.

6. If you have a furnace or an air conditioning unit in your home, make sure that you always have clean filters. Change them at least once every month that the system is in use. If these systems are not used so much in the off-season (spring and fall) then you don’t need to worry about it then. But if you have really dirty filters, change them more often.

7. Ventilation is as important in a home as an efficient air conditioner. When you buy a new air conditioner, the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is the ratio of efficiency you need to look for. Choose an air conditioner with the ENERGY STAR label.

8. Windows and doors are where the majority of heat is lost. This inefficiency adds to your utility bill. Install energy-efficient windows in your home. Double-glazed windows are a popular and great energy-saving option because their inside surface is closer to room temperature. If replacing your windows is not an affordable option, why not add weather-stripping? Don’t forget to add it to your doors as well. old door

9. There’s a lot you can do on your own to decrease energy use, but it never hurts to get a bit of advice from the experts. Through discussing with an expert your home’s structure, the appliances you use, and the number of people in the household, you will come to an understanding of how and in what areas you can cut down your energy usage and your monthly power bill.

Most top quality energy auditors will spend a few hours with you at your home and go through your entire house including your attic and basement. They should look for air leakage with a blower door test and duct inspection, and they’ll use an infrared camera to assess the insulation levels in your home.

8 Ways To Be Energy Efficient & Save Money

Taking stock of your utility bill is one way you can save money, but by following these tips you will also find you are more comfortable in your home while being more energy-efficient.

1. One way that you can instantly save money is by making sure that every time you leave the room you are turning off the light switch. It seems simple enough, but many people fail to do this simple task and pay the price for leaving the lights on in the next month’s power bill.

2. It is important that you get rid of any incandescent light bulbs that are used for more than two hours at a time and replace them with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). CFLs only use 25% of the electricity of incandescent ones, which means a saving of several hundred dollars for the average household every year. They last at least eight times longer, which saves you replacement costs as well.

3. Turn off the screensaver on your desktop computer or laptop. By doing this you can save upwards of $100 a year. Sure, screensavers look attractive, but the reason they were developed was to prevent screens from burning out. laptop screensaver

Now that technology has developed far past that stage, they are no longer required. Better yet, to save even more money, I would suggest turning off your computer completely by shutting off the surge protector.

4. Look at the appliances that you use every day to find easy ways to make your life more energy-efficient. When you replace refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines, for example, pick a new and more efficient model.

Make sure you look at the Energy Star sticker (www.energystar.gov), and find appliances with the lowest yearly operating cost by visiting the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website (www.eere.energy.gov/consumer).

5. There is no rating for ovens and stove tops, but there are a few things you can do to make sure these appliances are running as efficiently as possible. If you are cooking a small meal, it is a good idea that you use a microwave or a toaster oven.

And avoid opening the oven door to check on food, which lets heat out and can also interrupt the cooking process, taking longer and producing less tasty results. You can also cook energy smart on the stove top by matching the size of the pots and pans with the size of the heating element.

6. Cut down on how much water your shower uses. If you install a low-flow shower head you can save approximately 4,000 gallons (over 15,000 liters) a year. Apart from saving water, you are saving gas and electricity as well by not having to heat that excess water. shower head

This is a project that you can do straight away; all you need to do is go to your local hardware or home goods store. Due to federal law, all shower heads will be no more than 2.5 gpm, but lower flow amounts are available as well.

7. Install a programmable thermostat. If you set the thermostat to your daily schedule you can have your home at a comfortable temperature at all times. For instance, you can set the thermostat at a level you are comfortable with for when you first wake up in the morning and also for when you return home in the evening.

8. Take stock of your appliances to see which ones you really need, and if you can do without them, get rid of them. A lot of the appliances that we now use are for convenience rather than a necessity.

Do you really need that spa or that dishwasher that you fill up with only a few dishes a day? Try going without the dishwasher for two weeks, and see how easily you can cope.

Urban Environment – Its Problems

Urban Environment – Can We Solve It’s Energy Problems

Can economic growth be environmentally sustainable in the urban environment? Issues in Globalisation: Environmental Impacts & Sustainability. Residents of Dhaka’s slums show how extreme industrial pollution is destroying their environment and health.

Next we talk to Bangladesh’s environmental activists, factory owners and government officials and ask what needs to be done to make industrial growth sustainable?

We then see how a company sited in a UK National Park, is facing the same challenges, but is reducing their carbon footprint and saving money by reducing pollution, waste and energy consumption.