In one hour, the Earth is said to receive more energy than the world has typically used in an entire year. Just let that sink in.
Now, of course, it is not that simple at all. We have different amounts of sun at different times of the year and at different intensities. We have cloud cover to contend with – and the amount of sun you receive also depends hugely on where you live. Building the solar panels we need to capture that energy and the batteries we need to store it also take precious resources and power to create. But even still. The fact that we are not taking more advantage of Renewable energy around the world is just staggering.
We are not just taking about solar power – Renewables can be wind powered, wave powered, water powered – or even convert heat from the earth itself. Whilst nothing is perfect, as we speed towards our goal of global net-zero carbon by 2050, we need to be embracing Renewable energy production at a much bigger scale. The method will depend on where we live, but we may be seeing more localised power creation and storage – from our neighbourhoods to even our own homes and businesses, creating mini-grids to accompany the traditional larger grids we currently use. Transporting power is not very efficient, so keeping it local makes a lot of sense.
Plus, depending on where you live, there are often grants available to allow you to upgrade your home or business to include Renewable power. The initial outlay can be quite off-putting, even as prices have dropped and efficiency has increased… but watch this space. To reach our carbon reduction targets it will take a group effort, so more of us will be able to access more funding to help us upgrade our systems.
So, what can we do to embrace Renewables now?
- talk to your local council or look up your national government guidelines to find out what assistance is available to upgrade your home/business to Renewables. This is changing ALL the time, so it’s worth rechecking periodically.
- can’t add solar panels for some reason? Don’t worry. You can switch your supplier to one that offers a ‘Green’ or Renewable Tariff. Your existing supplier may even have this as an option, so give them a call and ask. If they don’t, ask why.
- remember, that switching to a ‘green tariff’ might not mean that all your energy comes from Renewable sources. It could vary hugely from 100% to a ‘mix’, which might still include fossil fuel derived energy. If in doubt, ask.
- if you’re in the UK, check out Ecotricity, Green Energy and Good Energy.