Technology

Renewable Energy Sources

‘UK was revealed to be a nation of ‘standby junkies’, with 71 percent rarely if ever switching off televisions, DVD players, computers and other electrical appliances’. (Hickman, 2006) As it is assumed that changing the harmful habits of whole British population is impossible, it is useful to have a look at the renewable energy opportunities, which the country has at its disposal.
Of course, the benefits of using the renewable energy sources are huge, among which are lower level of dependence on fuels, which are non-renewable, and lower levels and volumes of the carbon dioxide gases released into environment. However, people at present hardly imagine how many opportunities for the use of renewable energy resources they have.
It is usually called ‘bioenergy’. The source of this biomass is in the organic materials, which may come either directly from plants or indirectly from the industrial sources as well as various agricultural products. Biomass is usually divided into woody and non-woody biomass. Non-woody biomass is usually related to the byproducts of animal life, as well as the byproducts of local food processing, etc. How surprising it may be, but biomass is adjusted for using it at home as the source of energy. This is usually done through stoves which are installed in the houses, boilers, which are connected with the water system of the house for heating it. This energy technology carries certain serious disadvantages, one of the most important (besides relatively high costs for installation) being in the necessity to pay for the fuel which is used for heating. However, this means of bioenergy may be beneficial for those, who live in areas with no gas supply. (Types of renewable energy technology)
2. Ground source heat pumps
The heat from the ground is used by this device to heat the building and even to pre-heat the domestic hot water. The heating pump works according to the similar principles, used in the air conditioners’ operation. The technology allows producing 3-4 units of energy for each unit of electricity used. The running costs for this device are cheaper than using oil, but are more expensive than using gas. This is why without further improvement this technology is hardly the best choice at present. (Types of renewable energy technology)
3. Small scale hydro
This is the technology, which is in fact a micro hydro power plant in domestic conditions. It means that having a small turbine at home, you will avoid the necessity of paying for electricity bills, and going through the necessary legal procedures, it will even be possible to sell the energy generated back to the power supplier. The cost of installation for such systems is relatively high, about 20-25,000 per unit, and thus the possibility of making this technology more common is under question. (Types of renewable energy technology)
4. Other technologies include small scale wind, solar PV and other similar renewable energy technologies. Their advantages are evident, but their costs are rather high for an average consumer, and thus their use should either become more popular for decreasing some of costs, or modified in such way that it

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