Comparing Different Types of Renewable Energy for Your Home
Many people today are looking for ways they can reduce fossil fuel energy consumption, and the best way to do that is to turn to renewable energy. There are multiple types of renewable energy that can provide an alternative to burning fossil fuels, including:
- Hydropower (water)
However, not all of these types of energy are realistic for homeowners to consider. Biofuels, for example, come from harvesting plant materials and animal waste. Hydroelectric power generation involves building huge dams that can channel energy from large waterways into usable electricity. While those things might work for large companies or governments, for most people the effort to get a usable amount of energy isn’t worth the costs.
For homeowners, the best options for renewable energy are geothermal, solar, and wind.
Geothermal systems use the more stable temperature below the surface of the ground to heat and cool your home or business, as well as heat your water. It uses a pump installed several feet below the ground that pumps water in and out to heat or cool your home or water. During cold months it transfers warmer energy to the surface, and during hotter months it transfers cold energy. Geothermal is not as popular as solar or wind, but is growing in popularity as a heating and cooling source for many homes.
Solar energy uses photovoltaic panels that capture energy from the sun and translate it into usable electricity. It’s by far the most popular choice for homeowners because it’s easy to install—panels can be placed right on your rooftop or in the yard—and it can generate enough energy to power your entire home. As solar has become more popular over the years, the cost to get a solar power system has declined to make it a great option for many homeowners. The primary considerations for whether solar can work for your home include having:
- Enough days with sunshine to collect energy
- A place on your property with unobstructed access to sunlight (limited shade)
- A surface area large enough to install photovoltaic panels
Wind energy comes from large turbines that, when blown by the force of the air, create energy that can be converted to electricity. Many people have seen the large wind farms in places like Texas and California that cover thousands of acres, you can also get a small wind turbine for your residential property. Before you do, it’s important to calculate whether you live in an area with enough wind to generate adequate electricity. You will also need a wind turbine on your property, so it’s critical to check local building codes and make sure you are comfortable with having that in your yard, and to be aware that your neighbors may object.
To find out how you can get solar or wind renewable energy for your home and business, contact Intermountain Wind and Solar today.