Photo: Envato Elements
Photo: Envato Elements
Load shedding is back in full force. Added to that, the cost of electricity is going to go up.
The timing has never been better for average consumers to start using alternative energy in their own homes.
Technology is better than ever with more and more contractors specialising in installing green energy generators in homes. When one looks at alternative energy choices for a home, the choice has a lot to do with geography or where in the country you are.
Going green and ecologically savvy has been one of the best options to help with the energy crisis we find ourselves in. Renewable energy collected from renewable resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat, are some of the options you can look at when wanting to access green energy.
Here is a look at different energy options you could use in your home.
Solar Energy is radiant light and heat generated from the sun that is harnessed using a range of ever-changing technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, solar architecture, molten salt power plants and artificial photosynthesis. According to South Africa’s Department of Energy, the use of solar energy is the most readily accessible resource in South Africa. It lends itself to several potential uses and the country’s solar-equipment industry is developing.
Wind Power is also a great alternative for many homes. It is the use of air flow through wind turbines to provide the mechanical power to turn electric generators. As an alternative to burning fossil fuels, wind power is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation, consumes no water, and uses little land.
For example, according to Africa Renewal Online, there are four such turbines whirling in the hot, dry and windy landscape near the town of Darling in South Africa’s Western Cape, generating 7 gigawatt hours per year of green energy.
Hybrid Power Systems have both wind turbines and solar panels to double up on the generative power. This is one of the most efficient and reliable methods, since wind and solar energy tend to be most available at different times. Hybrid power plants often contain a renewable energy component that is balanced through a second form of generation or storage such as a diesel genset, fuel cell or battery storage system.
Geothermal Power is heat energy generated and stored in the earth’s surface. This energy resource supplies renewable power around the clock and emits little or no greenhouse gases. It does all of this while requiring a small environmental footprint to develop. Unlike solar and wind energy, geothermal energy works equally year round.
Grid-Connected Energy is a collection of methods used to store electrical energy on a large scale within an electrical power grid. Off the grid, as it is sometimes called, is an electrical energy stored during times when production exceeds consumption and returned to the grid when production falls below consumption.
Head of Marketing and Sales at Energy Partners Home Solutions, Cala van der Westhuizen says that even though renewable energy is becoming more affordable and will result in future savings,
“A fully integrated solution will cost anything from R80,000,” says Van der Westhuizen. “Luckily, there are various types of financing available which make these solutions accessible to consumers while still achieving significant savings each month.”
Van der Westhuizen advises all homeowners to evaluate their home’s energy needs and to find out what renewable energy solutions would work for their home. As a homeowner you should also consider consulting an energy solutions service provider. They can provide an accurate assessment of not only what the home needs, but also which solutions would be the best suited for the property.
So, if you are an eco-conscious homeowner who needs to consider some alternative energy options for your home, looking at the provided options could be of assistance to you. Remember that technology also plays a vital role in these energy options, so it would be wise to get up to speed with the latest developments.