Renewable energy – What is renewable energy?

Renewable energyRenewable energy has become increasingly popular over the past few years with the movement toward a cleaner environment and the government attempting to achieve strict carbon emission targets.

The implication of different grant schemes and Government incentives – most notably the feed-in tariff for solar PV, which was launched in April 2010 and pays people for generating renewable electricity – has helped enormously to increase both the interest in and demand for renewable energy.

Thanks to ever increasing energy bills and huge rises in gas and electricity prices over the last couple of years, more and more consumers are trying to rely less on fossil fuels and have been turning to renewable energy resources. And as a result, many energy providers have created more environmentally friendly energy products.

A similar Government incentive, the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) launches in spring 2014. It works in a similar way and is a financial incentive designed to encourage the uptake of air source heat pumps and other renewable heating technologies. Similar to the FiT scheme, the RHI offer financial remuneration to homeowners for generating their own renewable heating and hot water.

What is renewable energy?

Understanding renewable energy is the first step toward utilizing its benefits, of which there are many. Renewable energy describes energy sources that are considered to be environmentally friendly, non-polluting and sometimes renewable.  Renewable energy is designed to leave less of a footprint on the environment through the reduction of pollutants. Heat pumps including ground source heat pumps are included under the renewable energy banner, as well as:

  • Wind turbines
  • Solar PV and solar thermal
  • Micro hydro power
  • Air source heat pumps
  • Biomass boilers

What’s all the fuss about renewable energy?

You can’t switch on the TV or read the news without coming across a story about some form of renewable energy. It stands to reason that we cannot continue to rely indefinitely on fossil fuels. For too long we’ve relied on natural gases and coal, so generating our own renewable energy will also help alleviate our reliance on other countries for energy.

Renewable energy has numerous benefits and advantages, the main ones being:

  • You get paid by the Government to generate renewable energy, be it electricity or heat and hot water for your home.
  • Renewable technologies can help to reduce your fuel bills.
  • And cut your carbon footprint.
  • By installing renewable energy technologies you’ll be doing your bit for the environment because non-renewable energy sources are not only harmful to the environment but burning fossil fuels cause harmful greenhouse gases to be released.
  • Renewable energy sources – like the sun and the wind, for example – won’t ever run out, unlike fossil fuels which will eventually.

Builder Guide has a strong background in renewables. Let us know what type of renewable energy technology or technologies you’re interested in, and we’ll find the right firms who’ll be able to address your renewable energy needs and provide up to three quotes to help you compare prices.

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Solar PV – Prices and costs of Solar PV installation

Solar PV panels

Since 2010 the costs to install Solar PV panels have fallen dramatically. So much so most renewable energy experts expect solar PV to achieve grid parity (the point at which solar PV costs fall to the level of conventional fuels … Continue reading

Solar thermal – Hot water from the sun and you’ll get paid for it!

Solar thermal

Solar thermal water heating works via solar panels installed on your roof, but instead of generating electricity as with solar PV panels, solar thermal generates energy from the sun specifically to heat water. The panels can be used in accompaniment with … Continue reading

Ground source heat pumps – Prices and installation requirements

Ground source heat pumps - ground preparation

Ground source heat pumps are becoming very popular due to the rising costs of conventional fossil fuels. Some more good news is that they will be eligible for financial incentives under the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) from spring 2014. … Continue reading

Biomass boilers – What is a biomass boiler?

Biomass boilers

Biomass is a renewable energy source and consists of material derived from living or recently living organisms. Essentially it refers to plant-based material up to and including, cereals, miscanthus, solid wood, wood pellets or wood chips, which is the form … Continue reading

Airsource heat pumps – What do they do and how much are they?

Airsource Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps extract heat directly from the air circulating around your house. It can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor heating or convectors as well as being used to heat water. Air source heat pumps work in … Continue reading

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