Green energy home installations are now something more than just a theoretical possibility. They are now at the stage where they are being used successfully in many homes to produce at least a part of the energy which is needed, and even though we may still be a long way from the point where all of the household fuel can be produced in this way, we are getting there. There are also ways to generate electricity through wind power, but implementation is more difficult in this case.
Many homeowners are now considering whether installing solar panels on the roof may not be a good idea. There is plenty of potential for this to become a useful part of the nation’s generation strategy, as millions of homes have large areas of roof space on which the sun rests for extended periods of time each day. The day is not yet here when solar panels can provide all of the energy a household needs, but it can still make a significant contribution. At times when the house is using a lot of power, the solar panels will provide a part of this, and the rest will come through the grid in the usual manner.
When the house is using very little power, the electricity which is generated by the solar panels can be fed into the grid for the use of other consumers. This creates the possibility of a virtually self-sustaining network, through which members effectively cover the needs of each other. Such a network has the potential to greatly reduce dependence upon fossil fuels, if not to eliminate it altogether. The potential for solar power to energize an entire house is also there, if solar panels can be designed to capture a greater percentage of the sun’s light.
In trying to design a green energy home, many architects are looking to use heat in creative ways. It is not only the generation of electricity which is possible with green energy, although that will always remain the most important feature. There are ways to heat water using sunlight without the need for the energy to be converted to electricity first. The rays are directed through magnification directly onto the water itself, saving the need for it to be heated electrically. This type of installation is ideally suited to homes which have a garden area to allow for easy construction of the unit.
The use of other types of technology in private homes is far more difficult. If you have a large home situated in its own grounds, it may be possible to use water power from a stream in some limited way, but this will never be able to match the large water power installations which are possible on large rivers. Wind power can also be used, but there are few properties for which planning permission could be given for turbines. There is always noise pollution involved, and there may also be safety concerns. It is unlikely that wind power will ever by fully usable for individual homes.
The dream of the self sufficient green energy home may still be a long way off, but significant progress is being made. It is already possible for solar panels to make a significant contribution to household electricity capacity, and the development of more efficient panels will make this even more possible. The limitation of solar panels has always been their inefficiency, and the fact that they were only able to capture less than a fifth of the available sunlight. New panels are able to double this capacity, and are therefore a much better choice for a green energy home.