Rising energy costs and Government cuts to renewable energy subsidies have seen a huge surge in the uptake of renewable energy technology by homeowners in the UK. With that in mind, we bring you three inspired examples of how renewable energy has been utilised around the world.
- Maximising renewable energy technology
Located in Luxembourg, the SolarWind building embraces renewable technology and takes self sufficiency to a whole new level. Built in 2012, the office building benefits from heat pumps which heat the air in the winter and cool it in the summer. Combined photovoltaic and thermal solar panels provide the energy for 70% of the hot water required and wind turbines contribute to the production of part of the electricity used by the building.
A biomass plant, utilising biomass fuel in the form of wood pallets supplied by a neighbour, also helps heat the building in winter. Other eco-friendly features include an external green wall and the collection of rainwater to provide water for the building’s bathrooms.
Also a smart analyser allows the building’s occupants – almost 20 companies – to monitor their energy consumption and adjust their usage accordingly.
- Utilising biomass to light up homes
Established in 2007, Husk Power Systems has utilised husk – a by-product of rice processing – to provide light to off-grid homes in the Bihar State. With an estimated 1.8 billion kilograms of husk generated annually in the Bihar State alone, Husk Power Systems’ innovative system transforms rice husk and other biomass matter into renewable energy.
The company’s rice husk plants each generate enough energy to provide a few hours of power to 400 homes in a 3km radius every evening.
- Embracing the power of solar to provide energy
Energy supplier M-KOPA Solar has been providing renewable energy to off-grid homes in East Africa since October 2012 and has enabled 20,000 homes in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania to benefit from solar power.
The company provides off-grid homeowners with low cost solar power (a safer alternative to the widely used kerosene that gives off harmful fumes) through a solar home system. After paying an initial deposit of $35, users receive a rooftop solar panel, a control box to charge a mobile phone, a radio, two hanging lamps and a torch.
Homeowners pay for the service through an annual payment plan which involves paying small instalments (the equivalent of $0.43 a day) by transferring money using a mobile phone and a mobile money system. After paying for the service for a year, homeowners then own their solar home system and can benefit from free energy.
If these three projects from around the world have inspired you to consider renewable energy technology to heat your home and reduce your energy costs, why not get in touch for more information?
Give us a call on 01242 370308 for details on biomass heating, solar PV panels and heat pumps, or fill out our handy quote form and we’ll be happy to advise you on the most appropriate solution for your home or building.