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It often seems like ‘green energy’ is becoming the buzzword (or buzz phrase) of the moment. More and more people are doing what they can to reduce their emissions, whether it’s through switching to a green energy tariff, installing solar panels or simply encouraging staff to unplug electrical devices when not in use and shut down their computers.
Carbon production will continue to be an issue unless we can find a way to generate all of our electricity from green, renewable sources and heat our homes and businesses using renewable energy too. Heating accounts for around 45 per cent of the total energy use in the UK, and so green energy sources could make a huge difference to this figure. In 2016, then Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom committed the government to establish as law the goal for net zero emissions post 2050. It’s a challenge, but one that should be risen to.
So with this in mind, what are some of the benefits of using green energy sources and why should more people, particularly businesses, start making the switch for their commercial energy?
Reverse global warming
The effect of the overproduction of carbon dioxide on our planet is scary, and we’re seeing continual temperature rises that are resulting in warmer oceans and melting glaciers. Temperature is crucial in order for our planet to maintain its equilibrium and the increased warmth means we’re losing wildlife. If we could reduce our carbon production, we could prevent global warming and potentially reverse the effects altogether.
Renewables won’t run out
A major benefit of green energy is that it can’t run out. While traditional fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, are widely used, they will run out eventually and it’s difficult to say what we’ll do when that happens. This is why it’s so important to make the switch to green energy now. This kind of energy is produced using nature – the wind, the sun and water can help us to generate electricity and heat, and these things will always be around, making them inexhaustible.
Burning fossil fuels to generate electricity and heat our homes and businesses can have a huge impact on the quality of our air. In fact, polluted air has been linked to breathing problems, lung and heart conditions, and even cancer, so making sure our air is as clean as possible could be really beneficial.
When energy is created through a wind turbine or solar panel, there are no emissions produced. The electricity is completely emission free and these methods don’t pollute water resources either. This will reduce the amount of nitrogen dioxide in the environment and allow us to breathe easy.
Although the initial outlay to install technology that allows you to gather renewable energy could be high, you could save money by creating energy in a green way. Sunlight and wind are completely free, unlike gas and electricity, which you have to pay for each month. The amount of money you could save is dependent on a number of factors, including where you live, the type of technology installed and the time of year. It may take some time, but you should begin to see a return on that initial investment.
Why should I switch to green energy?
If everyone was to switch to green energy, the demand for it would increase, which in turn would mean that production needs to increase to keep up with the demand. This means that the benefits described above could become a reality.
The further adoption of renewable energy sources will help in the fight to slow down global warming, the crisis of our times. Public health will also be improved by abandoning carbon-emitting fossil fuels and implementing more environmentally friendly methods of energy production. It’s becoming increasingly clear why switching over to green energy sources is evermore crucial for our planet and even our health and businesses have a role to play by being at the forefront of this transition.
What are the disadvantages of using green energy?
Making the switch to green energy isn’t easy, and there will likely be some hurdles along the way.
As previously mentioned, switching can be an expensive outlay at first as you may need to spend money on having certain technology installed, whether this be solar panels, a wind turbine or something else. The government is trying to encourage people to switch regardless of this, and that’s why there are some incentives that could see you earning money for the additional renewable energy you generate at home or from your business premises.
Green energy often isn’t as reliable as that created through fossil fuels. This is because weather conditions are so interchangeable – the sun may not be out every day and solar panels can’t generate electricity at night time, and on very still days, wind turbines cannot spin. But green energy can also be difficult to store and so it’s not possible for lots of energy to be collected on a very sunny or very windy day and be stored for later use. Generally, it needs to be used almost immediately.
Despite these things, green energy is certainly the way forward. If you cannot produce it on site yourself, you may be able to switch to a green energy tariff. This means that the electricity has been created from 100 per cent renewable energy, so you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re doing your bit for the planet.
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