There is nothing new about renewable energy. President Jimmy Carter had solar panels installed on the roof of the White House in 1979 during his term of office. Of course, Ronald Reagan later had them taken away again to show his support for traditional oil providers, but the fact remains that green energy has lots of benefits for any home or business.
The most obvious benefit is, of course, contained in the name. Whether one is purchasing a ‘green’ tariff from a national provider, or generating one’s own energy on site from solar panels, hydro power or windmills, this type of power generation is good for the environment. Its main benefit is seen in the lack of greenhouse gas emissions which accompany traditional forms of power generation. For obvious reasons, the reduction of such emissions contributes to the fight against climate change. This is not just an abstract principle, as many people across the world are now feeling the impact of increasingly fearsome weather and rising sea levels. Along with sensible transport choices and other investments such as insulation, renewable energy can help your household or business to do its part for the health of the planet.
Purchasing green energy isn’t just about making a moral decision for the good of the environment, however. Most ‘green’ tariffs are now financially competitive with the ordinary rates offered by power providers, and the payback available to those who install their own micro-generation schemes can be considerable. Of course, all micro-generation facilities, whether powered by the wind, sun, or even the tide, can generate considerable savings due to reduced bills for traditional energy from the National Grid. Further than this, however, some forms of power generation actively attract government investment and grants. Whilst this depends on where you live and what type of power generation is being explored, such additional bonuses can amount to significant sums. For example, the most recent research on solar power payback in the UK, conducted by the Energy Saving Trust, concluded that a domestic 3 kWp solar installation is likely to generate around £600 per year for a householder. This is due to the UK’s “feed in tariff” scheme, in which domestic providers of renewable energy are paid for the excess power that is fed back into the National Grid.
Along with the environmental and financial benefits, however, there is also a wider consideration to take into account. Many Western countries are currently struggling to produce their own energy, and are reliant on increasingly expensive supplies of oil and gas from abroad. Not only does widespread adoption of renewable energy make this dependence less of a problem for the country in which you live, but access to green power also insulates you from price spikes and economic shocks which could severely affect your neighbours and business competitors. By acting as a forward-thinking early adopter of new technology, you may well find yourself in a better position than those around you, and you will certainly gain significant peace of mind.
Overall then, it can be seen that renewable energy is not simply a salve for the environmental conscience of the well-off consumer. It puts the owner in a fantastic position for the ever-changing economic situation of the 21st century, and also provides immediate savings and payback on the investment made. Not only that, but it makes a real and tangible contribution to the vital fight against climate change. It is little wonder that so many houses are making the switch to renewable energy!