Central Parts of the Green Deal Scheme

The Green Deal is a UK initiative which promotes a range of energy-efficient programs aiming to lower the use of energy consumption in poorly insulated properties, which should help cut the cost of the monthly utility bills. Some of the benefits open to those able to take part in this scheme include under floor heating, solar panels, floor insulation, draught proofing, loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, and much more.

Once permitted to join the energy-efficiency scheme a homeowner will be pleased to learn that there aren’t any upfront fees required. Rather then pay upfront fees it will be possible to benefit from the Green Deal financing program, which means that any energy-efficient schemes put in place will be paid back through a charge added to the customers monthly or quarterly electricity bills, which is repayable over a predetermined time. The Green Deal is applicable to all property owners irrespective of personal circumstances and isn’t means tested.

In the process of applying for the Green Deal scheme there are three central parts to complete:

Assessment:

Firstly a dedicated Green Deal inspector will make a visit to either the business or private home which is hoping to apply for a part in the energy efficiency scheme. The aim of this inspection is to conduct a detailed Energy Performance Survey (EPS), which will then be discussed with the occupier/owner of the property. If everything is found to be acceptable a completed Advice Report is issued and a full plan compiled for the client.

Financing:

With the full plan approved, it will then be possible to request that the necessary action is taken to make the Green Deal finance package available. Finances for this scheme aren’t paid direct to the property occupier but instead gets paid to a preferred energy efficiency installer involved in working on this scheme. Any loft or cavity wall insulation will need to the installed in strict compliance to the code of this scheme to be sure of receiving the required funds.

Installation:

Once everything has been agreed and arranged with the installation team, they will then visit the private or commercial property to start working on the installation of the required energy efficiency improvements. All financial related matters for this home improvement work have already been sorted out with the installer via the Green Deal inspector so there is no need to get involved with this particular matter personally.

President Obama’s Green Energy Jobs

The Problem
President Obama has proposed opening up millions of jobs to replace some of the millions lost in the recession by pushing development in the field of green energy. This is an excellent proposal, if possible, since it would accomplish four desirable goals at the same time, namely:

  • Help make the transition from a fossil fuel based energy economy to a green energy economy in order to reduce carbon dioxide and other bad emissions.
  • Start the U.S. on the road to a sustainable energy economy.
  • Reduce or perhaps eliminate the chronic trade deficit the U.S. runs in the world economy by reducing its oil and gas imports.
  • Provide the jobs the U.S. so desperately needs.

Several critics have stated that the President’s proposal is only politics, since the green energy field cannot provide millions of jobs and dependence on green energy sources may not even be achievable at the present time. Let us investigate this proposal without the political polemic to see if it is a realistic goal.

The Requirements
In order to accomplish the President’s job goals, we need to look for energy production options that have the following characteristics.

  • The energy production option should provide large numbers of jobs and yet not drive up the cost of the energy produced. Thus we are looking for a means of taking the money we normally would pay to the owners of oil and gas fields and pay it to US workers. Such an option, would allow us to pay no more for the energy and have the money paid go to American workers.
  • The programs the government supports must have job leverage-i.e., the money the government provides will produce jobs, but it will also encourage investors to provide new money that will produce even more jobs. Without leverage, millions of jobs requires billions of dollars which the US currently can’t afford
  • The jobs produced should be free from job replacement by computers and robots. In order for this to happen, working with humans must be the best to operate.
  • It should be possible for the chosen energy option to enter into the job production phase as soon as possible. We must think of results showing:
  • Political near term-1 1/2 years from now to be useful for the next election.
  • Near term-5 years from now.
  • Long term-10 years from now.
  • In order to accomplish the President’s green energy goals, we need to look for energy production options that have the following critical features, namely, the energy must be:
  • Plentiful enough to start covering the nation’s base load (electricity) needs in the near term and make fuels for portable power plants (autos, trucks and aircraft) that can replace fossil fuels in the long term as they peak out.
    • Safe and free from carbon dioxide and other pollutant production.
    • Price competitive with fossil fuels ($0.08-0.12/KWH), so it can start replacing fossil fuels now, and later, as fossil fuels peak out, replace them.
    • Able to use the existing energy distribution systems.

Potential Solutions
Several green energy options have been proposed, namely:

  • Nuclear fission reactors of a modified and improved design.
  • Land based wind turbines.
  • Shore based wave generators.
  • Land based solar cells and/or solar thermal generators.
  • Green fuels to replace fossil fuels such as alcohol and oil from food crops, waste wood, kelp and algae.
  • Land based deep thermal wells.
  • Ocean based wind turbines, wave generators and solar cells.

Let us explore each green energy option in sequence and match it to our list of requirements.

Nuclear Fission.A nuclear fission reactor is competitive in cost because the energy is as concentrated as is that from fossil fuels, so a relatively small amount of equipment is needed to exploit it. Such reactors are currently being used for base load (Load Factor ~0.98. Note that Load Factor is the fraction of time a source is on line providing energy) and can operate at ~$0.08/KWH or more. It emits no carbon dioxide. There is enough nuclear fuel to last more than 100 years without using breeder reactors (reactors that generate more fissionable fuel than it uses). If we use breeder reactors, there is enough fuel for several thousand years. Thus it meets all the green energy requirements except one, safety. Safety is the big issue, especially after the Japanese reactors did not fail safe when an earthquake and tsunami damaged them. The vulnerable element in the light water reactors currently being used in Japan and elsewhere is the coolant pump. Backup coolant pumps are always provided, but if all electricity is lost, both inside and outside the facility (as happened in Japan), the backup pumps are useless. The neutron absorbing control rods and emergency shut down systems will deploy without electricity and shut down the fission reaction, but the residual radioactivity in the fuel rods will continue to heat the rods and eventually melt them down (as apparently happened in Japan). If the coolant pump is off line long enough (as also apparently happened in Japan), the rods may melt through the containment vessel and vent radioactive material to the environment. It appears feasible to design some reactors (for example-pebble bed and certain fast reactors) with low enough energy density in the fuel elements so that the residual radioactivity will not melt them down, but instead fail safe. Or, it may be possible to make acceptable modifications to the current light water reactor designs. Getting rid of radioactive spent fuel is also a problem. The fuel elements must either be placed in long term storage, or treated and refined in a reactor until only short term radiation is left. Both these problems require research and development (R&D).

This R&D will generate jobs, but they will be high level jobs (scientists and engineers) until the designs for safe reactors and safe spent fuel disposal methods are obtained and approved. After that, mid level jobs with job leverage building, modifying and operating the reactors will become available. It is expected that this effort and the government approval cycle will take a long time ( greater than one decade), so mid level jobs for the new nuclear plants are not expected for at least one and maybe two decades (long term). Even after one to two decades, the number of new workers produced will not be in the millions. If it were so, the energy would cost too much. The number of workers per KWH produced in nuclear plants is relatively small-larger than the number for fossil fueled plants, but still relatively small. The capital cost of the plant is large, but the fuel cost per KW produced is relatively small, which brings the overall cost down and makes it competitive with fossil fuel plants in most geographic areas and better than fossil fuels in others.

Land based wind turbines. Land based wind turbines are non-polluting but the energy is diffuse, and so requires a large amount of equipment to exploit it. Thus the capitol cost and resulting energy is expensive (~$0.10/KWH or more not accounting for down time), and it is not available all the time (Load Factor ~0.5 to 0.7 in good sites, less elsewhere), so the effective cost is even higher. Also, they require carefully selected windy sites that are not common enough to provide a significant part of the base load. It should be noted, however, that land used for wind turbines can be used for other purposes as well.

The R&D on wind turbines has been done, so they are ready to be installed. The only factor that keeps more from being installed (and thus creating jobs) is the lack of good sites, the low load factor and the high capital and maintenance costs which makes the energy cost high. The only way wind will become cost competitive is if the government subsidizes it (as has been done in the past) or if it is added to a home to provide domestic energy. Here the cost of the generator is small compared the cost of the home, so the high cost per KW is less important. This home market is currently being exploited where wind conditions are favorable. Thus wind turbines are useful, but appear best suited for operation in high energy cost areas on an as available basis, or in conjunction with homes. Wind turbines may eventually gain 10 to 20% of the energy market. A modest increase in new jobs is expected over the long term as fossil fuel becomes more expensive.

Shore based wave generators. Shore based wave generators are also non polluting, but the energy is diffuse, and so requires a large amount of equipment to exploit it. Thus the resulting energy is expensive, but not as expensive as land based wind turbines (~$0.09/KWH or more not accounting for down time), but it is not available all the time (Load Factor ~0.4 to 0.6 in good sites, less elsewhere), so the effective cost is even higher. Again, they require carefully selected wave sites that are not common enough to provide a significant part of the base load. Thus they are not suited for base load.

The R&D on wave generators has been done, so they are ready to be installed. The only thing that keeps more from being installed (and thus creating manufacturing and installation jobs) is the lack of good sites, the low load factor and the high capital and maintenance costs which makes the energy cost high. It is seldom practical to add them to a home, so this procedure for making them more popular is not available as it was with wind turbines. The only way wave generators can become competitive is if the government subsidizes them. Thus they are useful, but appear best suited for operation in high energy cost areas at the end of a long transmission line on an as available basis. Large numbers of new jobs are not expected from this area.

Land based solar cells and/or solar thermal generators. Land based Solar cells and solar thermal systems are non-polluting, but are dependent on sunshine, the most diffuse of all energy sources. Thus they require a lot of equipment and are one of the most expensive sources (~$0.17/KWH or greater, not accounting for down time), and they don’t operate all the time (Load Factor: ~0.4 to 0.6 in desert zones, less elsewhere) which increases the effective cost even more. Both need huge tracts of carefully selected land for each KW of power generated. (~0.1 KW/sq meter) which drives up cost. Furthermore, this land can’t be used for other purposes. In general, solar generators are not suited for areas near the ocean where clouds and fog are common. Thus land-based solar cells and solar thermal systems are not suited for base load generation where they must be economically competitive and reliable. Solar cells appear best suited for specialty use where cost and area is less important such as on top of electric cars to extend their battery range, or on top of houses to cover the day-time peak load. Here cells are used in conjunction with much more valuable items (cars and houses) so cost is of secondary importance. Solar thermal is useful near isolated desert communities because an energy storage system has been developed for them. Here, climate conditions and isolation from base load generators work together to make these generators more competitive.

Most of the R&D on solar cells and solar thermal has been done. The most important remaining research is the effort to increase the efficiency (and/or reduce the cost) of solar cells. Contracts are currently out to accomplish this goal. Success in this endeavor will make solar cells more attractive in the above-mentioned applications and gradually increase their use. Thus, a few new jobs (hundreds to thousands) in the R&D part of this area are expected in the near term. A more significant increase in new jobs is expected over the long term in this area as the cost of fossil fuel increases.

Sustainable synthetic fuels. Fuels obtained from plants and trees are non-polluting, but are dependent on sunshine, the most diffuse of all energy sources. The efficiency of conversion is less than that of solar cells, so in general, they will be the most expensive energy source. There is a mitigating factor, however. Some feed-stocks are available from other activities that reduce costs. Corn is available from efficient farmland operations. Alcohol from corn is currently being produced and used with gasoline to power autos. This option cannot be thought of as a long them solution, however. As population increases, the corn must be used for food as increasing corn prices show. The same is true of diesel oil from soybeans. This is not true of alcohol from waste wood. This source gets its feedstock from lumber processing and brush clearance operations throughout the US. This waste wood would normally remain unused. Long term production is possible and also desirable. It could help satisfy the need for a partial replacement for fossil fuels for portable applications (autos, trucks and aircraft), but it is not expected to replace them. Fuels from kelp and algae have to be grown, however, so they are subject to the bad economics of diffuse energy operations with large land use and capital outlay. These energy sources may become locally competitive in small markets, but they can’t replace fossil fuels for base load. Also they may have an environmental impact. Thus energy from plants is best suited to supply a portion of the fuel required for portable power plants such as cars, trucks and aircraft.

There is a significant amount of R&D to be done on synthetic fuels from waste wood, kelp, and algae. This R&D must be pursued to the point where cost and capability are known. Then the competitive position of each option in the overall energy scheme of the US can be established. A few tens of thousands jobs in R&D could result from government contracts in the political near term. More jobs (many tens of thousands) will come during the early production stage in the near to long term. The large number of jobs that might result when production ramps up will have to wait for the long term.

Land based deep thermal wells. Deep thermal wells are non-polluting and expected to be competitive in cost because the energy is concentrated as with nuclear fission and fossil fuels and so, with the exception of the well, requires a relatively small amount of equipment to exploit it and the fuel (heat from deep in the earth’s crust) is free. The land area required is small and modest in cost. New chemical drilling techniques for the well show promise in holding the cost of the very deep well down, but experimental cost details are not yet available. If the pilot well is inexpensive enough, deep thermal wells can be used to provide base load. The fuel (earth heat) is available near enough to the surface in many areas on the earth, and will last for the foreseeable future. It is non-polluting. It can use existing electrical distribution systems. The resulting wells can even be used to sequester carbon dioxide. The only disadvantages of this generator are that it is vulnerable to earthquake damage, and it is useable only in areas where the hot rocks needed are close enough to the earth’s surface to make drilling the well economically feasible. The vulnerability to earthquake damage may make it undesirable for earthquake zones such as coastal California, and the hot rocks are nearer the surface in the west of the US than in the east, but the potential operational area appears to be huge.

The R&D on deep thermal wells is well under way. A pilot well is being drilled. If the well is found to be economical in producing energy, expansion into large energy production is expected to proceed rapidly because there are fewer political and safety problems to overcome in order to get permits than, for example, for nuclear fission reactors. The number of workers required per KW produced is relatively small, however, because each well produces a large amount (megawatts) of power, and the workers needed per well is small. So millions of jobs will not be forthcoming in this area. Certainly, the jobs it does produce will not come in the political near term. It will take at least five years to see a significant increase in jobs in this area.

Ocean based wind turbines, wave generators and solar cells. These energy sources are non-polluting and capable of generating large amounts of energy but depend on diffuse energy sources, so they would be expected to require a large amount of equipment and so be expensive. This turns out to be wrong for five reasons:

  • They can be built and operated all together on one vessel to save capital and maintenance expense.
  • The operator lives on the vessel and grows his/her food on the vessel as well to save operating expense. Part of the operator’s pay is the food and living quarters provided for him and his family who can also live aboard.
  • The owner will often be the operator to save overhead and capitol expense.
  • The vessel can be moved to find optimum operating conditions (Load Factor ~0.85 to 0.95)
  • The three energy sources complement each other, so one is operating at near optimum almost all the time.

Thus, the cost per KWH is estimated at ~$0.03/KWH or more. Note that each vessel produces only a modest amount of power (100 to 400 KW), so many millions of vessels are required to obtain the total power required in the US, but each vessel is expected to be profitable by itself. Here we appear to have found a means of taking the money we normally would pay to the owners of oil and gas fields and pay it to US workers who will produce the energy we use. The energy produced (electricity) can be converted into nitrogen fertilizer concentrate immediately with easy transport to land, and a ready market. This frees up natural gas (currently used to make fertilizer) for use to generate base load electricity. It can also be converted into hydrogen and oxygen, or, by use of the plant residues from the food grown, converted into natural gas and oil and transported to land. Thus, it can provide fuels for portable applications (autos, trucks and aircraft). This synthetic gas and oil from ocean energy can gradually replace the fossil natural gas and oil as it peaks out and the US can move smoothly into renewable energy.

The R&D on ocean based wind turbines, wave generators and solar cells is nearly complete. The prototype is 95% done. After prototype completion, production can be turned over to existing boat building yards, so moving into production phase can be quickly accomplished. There is a ready market for the product (fertilizer) of the vessel, so production should increase steadily. Millions of jobs can result when you count the construction workers and the operators of the vessels. These jobs are not subject to replacement by computers and robots. With this energy source, we pay no more for the energy and our money will go to American workers. However, these jobs will not come in the political near term. It will take at least five years to see a significant increase in jobs in this area.

Conclusions
Can President Obama’s proposal to create millions of jobs in the field of green energy along with a gradual shift out of fossil fuels into sustainable carbon free energy be achieved? The short answer is yes, but the jobs and the transition will not come about in the political near term (1 years). We must wait for at least five years (near term) before green energy employment begins to ramp up significantly. It appears possible in the long term, however, to work out an energy supply system where we pay no more for the energy, and the payments go to American workers rather than oil field owners. Let us investigate this answer in more detail and draw conclusions.

The value of nuclear reactors for base load (electrical energy) in many (but not all) geographical areas justifies the R&D necessary to make them safe. Safety is especially important in the wake of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami problems. Government contracts appear justified. This effort will create some new jobs in the near term (5years) and more in the long term (10years). However, large numbers of jobs will not come in the political near term (1 years). Even in the long term, the new jobs will not number in the millions. More likely, it will be in the hundreds of thousands. In spite of the safety issues, there is an important position for nuclear fission as a replacement for fossil fuels in the future energy production pattern in the US.

Land based wind turbines appear to be able to make a significant (10 to 20%) contribution to the energy production pattern in the US especially when joined to house construction where its high cost per KWH is not significant compared to the cost of the home and the value is high in a rising energy cost market. It is not a base load contender, however. The home addition market is already being exploited. No government contracts appear necessary. A gradual increase in jobs is expected, but not in the millions, more likely in the tens of thousands in the long term.

Solar cells appear to have a significant (15 to 25%) market when combined with cars (to increase the range of battery powered electric cars), and homes (to cover a portion of daytime peak load). This is because the high cost of solar cells is small compared to the cost of homes and autos and the value of the energy is high in a rising energy cost market. This market is beginning to be exploited. Solar cells are not base load contender, however. The only government contracts needed are already underway, namely, those aimed at increasing efficiency and reducing cost. A gradual increase in jobs in this area is expected, but not in the millions, more likely in the hundreds of thousands in the long term.

Synthetic fuels from waste wood, kelp and algae are expected to have a significant market for use in autos, trucks and aircraft. Of these, fuel from waste wood is expected to be the leader because the feedstock is so widely and cheaply available from sawmills and brush clearance. Government contracts to develop and sort out these fuels are recommended. They have the potential of becoming a significant contributor (15 to 25%) in the race to replace fossil fuels with carbon free, sustainable fuels. These fuels do not appear to be base load contenders. R&D jobs in the tens of thousands are possible in the political near term. In the long term, several hundreds of thousands of jobs in this area appear likely.

Land based deep thermal wells are a potential leader in the race to replace fossil fuels for base load. Perhaps 30 to 40% of the base load could be supplied with this source. A pilot well is underway, and if successful, contracts to jump-start the drilling of new production wells should be considered. R&D jobs in the thousands are possible in the political near term. More are possible in the near term. In the long term, several hundreds of thousands of jobs in this area appear likely.

If the prototype tests are successful, ocean based wind, wave and solar cell generators appear to be in a position to eventually cover all remaining carbon free energy requirements as the fossil oil and gas fuels peak out. This would ensure a smooth transition to a green, sustainable energy economy. This energy source can provide fossil fuel generated commodities (such as nitrogen fertilizer currently made from natural gas) in the near term, and synthetic fuels (such as hydrogen, oil and natural gas) in the long term. It can provide literally millions of good paying, attractive jobs in the near to long term when you count the ocean vessel construction workers as well as the operators.

DIY Green Energy – The Underlying Philosophy

 When we look at green energy technology it’s clear that two or more philosophies are at work here. There are major, often publicly-funded projects, such as offshore wind farms that use collections of turbines over 300 feet high and designed to provide enough green energy to run several small towns. Or there are hydro-electric and wave-power schemes that may cost hundreds of millions of dollars and take decades to come to fruition.

The philosophy here is often related to political expediency as governments use their ostensibly green credentials to win votes and remain in power. This might be somewhat cynical but often we find that such large schemes are badly thought through and often have running and maintenance costs far in excess of original expectations.

The small scale approach

Then there is the small scale approach in which green energy generation is designed for either small groups of houses, or perhaps a small industrial unit or even individual homes. The market for green energy generating equipment is now growing at a very high rate despite the poor economies in much of the developed world. However, purpose-built green energy equipment, such as solar panel heating arrays, solar pv arrays and wind turbines are still expensive for the average householder.

So for anyone wanting to cut their energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint but is not in a position to invest the large sums that commercially produced equipment demand, the Do It Yourself route is the only one available to us.

The DIY Green Energy approach

Now some people consider the DIY movement, if we can call it a movement, to be a penny-pinching way of doing things that has meant the death-knell of the professional tradesman. Others would see it as a nursery ground for ingenuity and recycling.

Doing things for yourself can be a very rewarding experience. To be able to understand a problem, think it through, and then experimentally and incrementally arrive at a practical solution is not only very satisfying but it is very instructive too. 

DIY Green Energy Guides

If you want to venture into the world of DIY green energy generation then there is plenty of help out there. The guides that now proliferate on the internet provide a wealth of information, not only on how and where to source the parts you’ll need at the lowest possible prices but also on construction methods and, crucially, the theory too.

You will find as you embark on your solar panel or wind turbine projects that understanding the theory of how and why the systems work is very helpful if you want to deviate from the explicit instructions in the guides. 

The philosophy of DIY matches up with that of green energy generation perfectly. They both represent an approach to self-sufficiency that seems to have been declining ever since the second world war. However, it may be that a resurgence of the indomitable spirit of the do it yourselfer is in the offing. Large-scale schemes may be the province of governments but for individuals the do it yourself approach to green energy generation is the perfect solution to cutting your costs and reducing your carbon footprint at the same time. 

Global Surge in Green Energy Investment

Reports released in July by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), have revealed that global investment in the green energy sector has witnessed a significant boost. However, this information has been somewhat marred following the release of a Bloomberg report indicating that the fossil fuel industry enjoys a far greater share of government subsidies in comparison with the renewable energy sectors.

The twin reports from the UN and the REN21 conclude that in 2009, renewables accounted for 60% of newly installed energy resources in Europe, with the figure for the USA sitting at 50%. In addition, new private and public sector investments in new renewables and biofuels rose by 53% in China last year, with the country adding 37 GW of renewable power capacity.

This dramatic increase in China’s renewable energy capacity coincides with the news that they have overtaken the US in terms of energy consumption. Over the past decade, China’s use of coal, oil, wind and other power sources have more than doubled.

This trend bucking also featured in the UN and REN21 reports, with suggestions that total investment in renewables increased in 2009. Although investment in new renewables, biofuel and energy efficiency decreased by 7%, there was record investment in wind power. In the USA, the American wind power industry added 39% greater capacity, with almost 2% of the country’s electricity being derived from wind turbines.

Although the global investment figures appear to have risen in terms of the increased renewable energy capacities of many countries, a report compiled by analysts Bloomberg provides a damning overview of government commitments to the development of the renewable energy sector.

The report concluded that in 2009 governments provided $43 and $46 billion worth of global subsidies to the renewable energy and biofuel industries. This was dwarfed by the $557 billion allocated to the fossil fuel industry the previous year.

It is believed that the lack of funding for renewables from investors is due to a visible lack of direct government funding. However, it seems that more subsidy schemes are appearing in various countries with the aim of providing the support needed for the continued development of green energy alternatives.

In the UK and in Germany for instance, a feed-in tariff offers financial incentives for those willing to employ small wind turbines as a means of powering their house or small business. Such subsidiary schemes are a significant factor if the G20 countries are to fulfill their pledge to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.

DIY Green Energy – A Revolutionary Energy Concept to Save the World

Almost every one of us is aware of DIY and its short form,” do it yourself “. Development of an innovative concept finds its seeds in this DIY approach, and hence it is the best way for growth and evolution of new invention and its applications. DIY green energy option is a step, which can help save energy and offer an ecologically conducive energy option to the predominantly fossil derived energy supplied by the power companies.

Now it becomes imperative to describe the fundamentals of green energy. In simple terms, it can be defined as an energy which creates a minimum amount of pollution and accounts for nil emission of carbon gases. Sun, wind, hydro power and geothermal power are the main sources of obtaining green energy. Though the controversy is still raging among scientists, nuclear energy is often included as green energy.

Rising Electricity Bills

Electricity obtained by burning fossils is now the major power source for energy ever since it was discovered by Edison. Our industries, commercial services and houses are dependent upon electricity for smooth functioning.Over the decades, man has invented several appliances for his own comfort which he finds indispensable, and some of these draw heavily on the energy source for their functioning.Added to this, the world population is growing at an alarming rate.Multiply the two factors and you will see the mind boggling requirement of energy. We are so much dependent on this energy source now that, even though the rates have gone up severely and that too very rapidly in the past decade, we are left with no other alternative but to pay the rising bills. Now here is the solution which can put an end to this monopoly of power providing companies. Green energy is feasible, and is an equally efficient and alternative solution. Moreover wind and sunlight, though intermittent, provide unending source of energy without fear of wastage or depletion. Environmentally friendly features, highly economical sources and eternal supplies are the three great virtues of green energy.

Help The Earth Live More!

The avarice of man since his nomadic age is dismaying. This greed has exhausted many of our natural resources like fossils and has brought many others to the brink. At such a stage, the advent and use of DIY green energy is the best and one of the most beneficial options. Using this kind of energy will help the earth gain some time to recover its lost glory, recoup its resources and slow down the process of depletion and ultimately, extinction. Implementing the use of DIY green energy appliances will initiate the process of helping to provide better prospects for our children and ensure a life of quality for the present and future generations. Since the use of conventional energy has affected the environment very negatively, its time now to shift to this very natural and unending source of energy and save our earth from destruction. Can you even imagine the resounding effect of a million homes deciding to implement the DIY green energy scheme?

It is Time To Act Fast!

Starting an energy supply in your backyard or on your terrace can be the first step towards this revolutionary change. Once you get started, your neighbors, relatives and friends and why, even your enemies, will be encouraged and a new cycle of using sustainable energy source will get a flag off.

Green Energy Options

Not all of us have the luxury of living in parts of the UK where gas is easily available. While it is true that gas is currently the most efficient and cheapest form of energy for heating the home, many of us rely on electricity and perhaps supplement this with oil. For these people choosing the right energy supplier is crucial, both in terms of getting the best deal financially, but also for making sure that carbon emissions are kept to a minimum.

Electrical heaters such as radiators are a great alternative or additional source of heating for most homes and if you happen to be on a green tariff with your energy supplier you will also be helping with reducing carbon emissions. It is a win win situation. So what green energy tariffs are available and how do you ensure that yours is truly green and worth the extra effort?

How does it work?

Green energy suppliers purchase energy which is carbon free or carbon neutral and sell it on to their customers using a green tariff. Examples of this energy may be wind turbines, solar power, hydroelectric, biomass or nuclear. In the UK these sources of electricity account for around 7% of all available energy, but this figure is steadily rising. The government is also behind this move towards renewable forms of energy and has set a target of 30% of the UK’s electricity needs coming from renewable sources by 2020.

Energy companies need to adhere to the Green Energy Supply Certification Scheme which is designed to ensure that customers are not being mis-sold when it comes to greener energy options. This means that the tariffs are independently checked and that they meet green energy supply guidelines as laid out by Ofgem. They must also show that they have purchased enough renewable energy to supply all of their green tariff customers.

Energy suppliers can meet the Ofgem guidelines by also either off-setting their own carbon production, providing energy saving measures for their customers such as insulation or investing into a green fund used on community buildings.

The down side

This all sounds great, but it is worth noting that while the energy supplier may be selling renewable energy to you, they could be reducing the amount which is available to other customers at the same time. The overall mix of energy does not change.

The energy companies are expected to produce a certain percentage of energy from renewable sources, however some will agree to do more than this and sell it at a special “renewable” rate to their green customers. In the UK there are no suppliers who provide 100% green electricity. There is no guarantee that your electricity will come from a renewable source, but simply that your supplier is buying in the required percentage to cover your needs.

Still worthwhile?

It is true that going for a green tariff doesn’t mean you will only buy renewable energy – but it certainly shows willing. If more UK energy users decided to sign up to green tariffs, the renewable industry would be in a position to offer more of this technology. If you decide to use electricity as your primary source of heating for your home, opting for a green tariff is just one of the steps you can take to keep your carbon footprint as low as possible.