Monday, January 15, 2007

Renewable Energy and Solar Power

By Davinos Greeno

Hi-tech ways to capture enough sunlight per day every day to power everything in a home or business hasn't been discovered yet. The current cost of solar panels can run into thousands of pounds, which would require the panels to produce electricity for years without maintenance in order to see a return on investment. What is needed is more grants available to people to enable them to afford renewable energy in the homes. Otherwise only the relatively well off will be able to afford paying over £2000 for solar panels and then saving money over the next 10-20 years. B & Q and other retailers in the UK have now started to advertise solar and wind turbines on TV, they must becoming more mainstream for them to do this.

Currently, many people use solar panels, which can be placed on a side of a roof to attract sunlight during the day to heat a small number of rooms and water. Solar panels can be purchased at a number of locations throughout the UK, as well as online. Panels do a great job of helping families and businesses to conserve energy. Hopefully, solar panels will become a part of daily life, in order to prevent the disappearance of natural resources and to maintain energy conservation. In August 2006 high street chain Currys have said that they will start to sell off the shelf solar panels at a substantial discount to existing suppliers. Also, houses that are being built locally now have wind turbines attached to create energy! At last progress from the house builders are making an effort – they can be the real drivers behind this change.

In the recent 2006 Budget announcement by Gorden Brown, millions of pounds have been allocated to helping homes and businesses take advantage of renewable energy and the benefits that it brings. This is a welcoming strategy by the government. More and more homes are also attaching mini-wind turbines to their homes to boost the electricity generated by solar panels, British Gas (Centrica) have recently been looking for volunteers to pilot this with.

Developing countries with sunny climates such as Africa are the perfect place to take advantage of this renewable energy especially in rural areas that are not connected to the national grid for electricity. There needs to be a commitment from the G8 and other government around the world in providing funds to achieve this.

I have just read about the founding of google and the founders are keep to develop solar power and have invested in a number of companies that have solar panels attached to like a mat that you can roll out and stick onto a building instead of the current large, expensive panels that are available at the moment!

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