There are three pillars to energy policy: affordability, security and sustainability. Using renewable energy in the mix of generation technologies used to generate heat or electricity can help address all three pillars, but what do we mean by renewable energy?
Renewable energy uses resources freely available from nature that will not be depleted on the timescale of humanity’s existence. There are four broad categories all of which derive their existence from the sun. Geothermal energy is another source of renewable energy which is not considered here.
– Wind power uses the kinetic energy of the wind to turn sails or aerodynamic blades. In the past this energy has been used to pump water or mill wheat into flour. Nowadays the energy is converted into electricity and usually distributed to the national grid from where it is used for a huge range of purposes.
– Water power uses the kinetic and potential energy of water whether it is the flow of a river or tidal stream, or the movement of waves or the potential energy of water behind a dam. Just like wind power, water energy has been used for milling and occasionally pumping but is now largely converted into electricity.
– Solar power uses radiation from the sun to either provide heating or electricity. Many people will be familiar with seeing these technologies mounted on roofs in the form of solar panels. In recent years the cost of solar thermal systems or photovoltaic panels has decreased while their efficiency has increased.
– Biomass covers a wide variety of energy sources and is perhaps the oldest form of renewable or sustainable energy. It can range from the use of wood for heating homes in open fires, stoves or boilers, to anaerobic digesters which convert organic waste products into biogas, to the creation of liquid biofuels such as ethanol or biodiesel.
Hampshire Energy is looking to find suitable sustainable opportunities in Hampshire for renewable technologies such as the above to allow the residents of Hampshire to benefit from them. Follow the links below to learn more about these technologies.