Alternative Energy for the Home

Alternative Energy for the Home

The movement toward alternative energy-powered homes, ranging from wind turbines and solar collection cells to hydrogen fuel cells and biomass gases, must continue throughout the twenty-first century and beyond. We urgently need to become more energy independent and stop relying on unstable states that are frequently hostile to us and our interests for fossil resources. Beyond that, we as individuals need to get “off the grid” and stop being so reliant on government-lobbying giant oil corporations that, while not involved in any covert conspiracy, have a stranglehold on people when it comes to heating their homes (and if not through oil, then heat usually supplied by grid-driven electricity, another stranglehold).

According to Remi Wilkinson, Senior Analyst at Carbon Free, the expansion of distributed generation will unavoidably result in the reconfiguration of the retail power market as well as the generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure. To compensate for revenue lost due to domestic energy microgeneration, electricity companies may need to diversify their company. She is referring to the findings of a group of UK analysts, including herself, who call themselves Carbon Free. Carbon Free has been researching the ever-increasing trend toward alternative energy-using dwellings in the United Kingdom and Western Europe. This trend is being pushed by an increase in government recommendations and, in some cases, funding for alternative energy research and development, the rising cost of oil and other fossil fuels, environmental concerns, and a desire to be energy independent. Carbon Free concludes that, assuming traditional energy prices remain stable or rise, microgeneration (meeting all of one’s home’s energy needs through the installation of alternative energy technology such as solar panels or wind turbines) will become to home energy supply what the Internet became to home communications and data gathering, and this will eventually have a significant impact on the businesses of existing energy supply companies.

Carbon Free’s assessments also show that energy firms have jumped into the game and are attempting to use microgeneration to their advantage in order to open up new markets for themselves. According to Carbon Free, power firms (in the UK) are significantly investigating and developing concepts for new geothermal energy facilities, as these companies perceive geothermal energy generation as a highly profitable wave of the future. Another conclusion of Carbon Free is that solar energy hot water heating technology, while initially fairly expensive to install, is an efficient solution for reducing home water heating costs in the long run. Solar power is not yet cost-effective for organizations since it requires too much specialized plumbing to deploy solar energy hot water heating. Finally, Carbon Free claims that constructing wind turbines is an efficient approach to reduce residential electricity bills while also becoming more self-sufficient. However, this is initially a very expensive thing to have installed, and corporations would be wise to start lowering their costs on these devices or risk losing market share.

 

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