The Reality of Alternative Energy Initiatives on Local Utility Companies Considered

The more non-performing alternative energy initiatives forced on the Utility companies the higher the cost of energy for everyone. Why? Because most of these green energy schemes are hugely subsidized and thus, increase the cost of our energy, therefore hurting families that are on a budget and making our manufacturing companies less competitive and our small businesses unprofitable.

Now let’s talk about wind generation. The reality is that wind by itself will never be enough and solar would require outrageous numbers of acres to perform what we need. Further, the availability of transmission lines near these projects means additionally lines costing 100s of billions of dollars to supply even 10% of the amount of energy this great nation uses.

There should be a mix of our energy generation, but should have to compete for cost against current methods. Why not challenge our entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers, scientists, and inventors to come up with efficient designs.

Speaking of which there are some on the way that can compete and within 5-years the solar efficiency and cost to produce can compete and beat other forms of energy generation. I say fine, when it makes sense for the environment, cost AND efficiency then go for it. Forcing it before its time will prolong the reality of an alternative energy future.

We should not make alternative energy into a religion, we need to do what works and stop the charade because in the end, survive or fail, we are all on the hook for the whole thing, and we ought to never forget this truth. Think on it.

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. 

Earn Thousands From Government Energy Schemes

Heating your home can be expensive, but there are schemes, initiatives and other things you can do that can save you thousands of pounds and improve your energy efficiency.

Warm Front is one such scheme which can literally save you thousands of pounds. It is a government funded initiative which is managed by Eaga. The scheme is designed to support people who may be vulnerable to fuel poverty this includes low income families and the disabled and elderly. It provides a package of insulation and heating improvements which can amount to the value of 6,000 where oil or renewable technologies are recommended. To qualify you must own your own home or rent from a private landlord. You should also receive certain specified benefits as well.

However, even if you do not qualify for a Warm Front grant you can still apply for the Heating Rebate Scheme and receive up to 300. To qualify you must live in an English local authority be over 60 and own your own home. The work carried out must also exceed 300 including VAT.

The Clean Energy Cash Back or Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Scheme was introduced on 1st April 2010 and promises to pay long-term, guaranteed payments to homes and businesses for generating electricity from small-scale renewable electricity systems, such as solar panels and wind turbines. The scheme is intended to give people an incentive to utilise green energy and cut their fuel bills. The money paid to homeowners is also tax free.

For homeowners with a well positioned 2.5kW solar panel this could amount to 900 cash back from the excess electricity they generate but do not use as well as further savings on electricity bills. Similar schemes to FIT have worked well in countries such as Germany for the last 10 years.

The Renewable Heat Incentive is a fixed payment for the renewable heat which is generated by a household and is set to be launched in April 2011. Although it is similar to the Feed-in Tariff initiative there are some significant differences due to the fact that most homes generate heat via oil or gas boilers, unlike electricity there is no National Grid for Heat.

To benefit from The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) you have to install a renewable heating system such as solar thermal panels, heat pumps or a biomass boiler. Once this has been done an estimate is given based on how much heat your system will produce. Based on this estimate a fixed amount is paid. The RHI will be available to everyone including businesses and is designed to incentivise investment into renewable energy.

Everyone can potentially earn money from being more environmentally conscious and investing in renewable energy. Even if you are unsure about how to go about installing a renewable energy system for your electricity and heating needs you can employ the services of an energy consultant for as little as 50. They will usually provide advice and a report on what to install and how you can maximise the effectiveness of a renewable energy system.