Why is Solar Energy considered the best option?

Why is Solar Energy considered the best option?

Why is solar energy a better solution than other existing fossil fuel or renewable sources.

It nearly all stems from solar anyway!

Almost all of the energy we have on earth comes either directly or indirectly from the sun. Think of wood charcoal, coal, petroleum, wind, waves and natural gas as stored sunlight and you have an inkling that solar is the best alternative.

Location plays a part as many commercial properties do not have direct access to Solar’s competitors, wave, wind, etc. However, most properties have access to sunlight.

Solar energy can be regarded as the best alternative because it’s the easiest, cheapest, simplest, most widely available technology to deploy. To get started with solar energy you need a very small investment, you don’t need a windy location, or to be located next to a stream or body of water. Solar is easily scalable so you can start with a small array and just keep adding panels, even in the hundreds. The same technology used to build a small solar array can be used to build a megawatt solar farm. The same concepts apply albeit with more complexity.

Solar energy is a renewable, reliable and sustainable source of clean energy. A good quality solar-powered system is an investment for 25 years.

But what about the costs of going solar?

Solar energy has become more cost-effective than “regular” or standard electricity. Installing solar panels is cheaper than other energy resources such as coal, natural gas or other fossil fuel options. 

Although generating your own electricity on-site is cheaper than buying from the National Grid, businesses are put off due to the capital expense of installing and maintaining the system when measured against the pay-back period until the savings exceed the project costs.  

The Plug – The Hausch Solution

We have a number of fee-free solutions which require zero capital expenditure, providing all-inclusive ‘self-funding’* projects requiring no capital expenditure but still providing reduced energy bills and a lowe carbon footprint from ‘day one’

Thinking about “Going Solar”

  • If you are a UK based business with up to 11,000 square metres of roof area (about the same size as Trafalgar Square) and you want to reduce your annual electricity bills and carbon footprint sooner rather than later without the need to invest your own capital and with no need for planning permission then you can submit a non-cost and commitment enquiry form on this UK SME Solar Scheme page.
  • If you have a larger site in the UK and/or you want to add other tech to the mix such as Waste Heat Recovery, Geothermal, Wind CHP etc, then this is the best page to read next. 
  • OR, if you are not sure about your needs and requirements we are very happy to answer any questions and give you some ideas. You can call us on 

Notes
*The cost of the installation is met from a percentage of the reduced energy. Once the costs have been covered you receive the full energy bill savings.

What is public support for renewable energy in the UK?

What is public support for renewable energy in the UK?

UK support is highest yet for solar, wave and wind energy, according to the latest report by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

 How do the figures stack up?

The latest Public Attitudes Tracker by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) suggests that approx 80% of people in the UK expressed support for renewable energy, with 445 strongly supporting it. Only 2% oppose the use of renewable energy.

  • 80% of the respondents support solar energy
  • 79% support wave and tidal power
  • 77% are in favour of offshore wind farms
  • 73% are in favour of onshore wind energy generation

This ties in with the findings that 80% of the UK population are either very, or fairly concerned about climate change.

Acknowledgments

Read the BEIS Public Attitudes Tracker June 2020 key findings

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Countering Fossil-Fuel’s Drawbacks

Countering Fossil-Fuel’s Drawbacks

Using fossil fuels has major drawbacks in addition to their combustion emitting greenhouse gases. A considerable portion of the energy produced goes to waste, mostly heat in combustion processes, power plants, and due to high-temperatures.

Specialist consultancy Capgemini recently produced its report ‘Investments in next-generation clean technologies. 55 Tech Quests to accelerate Europe’s recovery and pave the way to climate neutrality.’ in which they identify 55 actionable recommendations around the solutions and projects that can be scaled up to help meet net-zero targets, from new generation solar modules and bifacial solar panels to large-scale hydrogen production and combined solar generation, energy storage, and grids.

Solar takes center stage

Solar technologies took center stage in the report when it came to energy generation, with Capgemini identifying the need for giga-scale manufacturing of new solar modules and increased use of bifacial panels to improve efficiency. This appears to be confirmed by the International Energy Agency’s recent ‘World Energy Outlook’ report in which they place solar energy as the ‘new king’ of the energy sector. They estimate that globally, annual additions of the technology are set to almost triple by 2030 from today’s levels, setting new records for deployment each year after 2022.

Floating offshore wind as a solution

Offshore floating wind was also identified as a technology quest, with a need to “unlock” 80% of Europe’s offshore wind potential through a rapid scale-up of new generation floating wind structures. In the UK there is a growing push in the sector, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently increasing the country’s target to 40GW of offshore wind by 2030. To reach this he has committed £160 million of funding to develop the supply chain, with a particular focus on floating wind.

Heat Pumps are a hot recommendation

The Capgemini report highlighted heat pumps as a technology quest in their own right, with Capgemini identifying the need to multiply the number of installed heat pumps, betting on synergies with the EV industry to launch low-cost heat pump factories. 

Storing energy is important

Energy storage was also identified as its own separate technology, with a need to develop viable short to long duration storage alternatives to lithium-ion batteries, which the report suggests may not be the go-to choice for stationary storage for environmental and economic reasons.

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Green energy overtakes Fossil Fuels and Nuclear in Europe

Green energy overtakes Fossil Fuels and Nuclear in Europe

Environmental group Ember in London has reported that Renewable Energy has contributed a larger percentage to the European energy mix than fossil fuels or nuclear in the first half of 2020.

They state that in the first half of this year, approximately 40% of all the energy produced in the EU’s 27 countries came from renewable energy whereas fossil fuels accounted for 34%. The other 26% of energy production came from Nuclear and imports. Ember also reports that carbon dioxide emissions fell by 23%.

A continuing trend
This continues the trend of the last decade, as renewable energy generation gradually replaces fossil fuels based generation. In the first half of 2020:

  • renewables generated 40% of the EU-27’s electricity, whereas fossil fuels generated 34%. Most of this is as a result of coal being replaced by wind and solar.
  • Coal’s market share has halved since 2016 to just 12% of the EU-27’s electricity generation.
    Every country that had coal to start with saw a fall in coal generation.
  • Wind and solar has increased its market share from 13% in 2016 to 21% in the first half of 2020.
  • Hydro generated 13% of Europe’s electricity.
  • Bioenergy generated 6% of Europe’s electricity.

Acknowledgements

This article and the graph used are based on an original report by Dave Jones and Charles Moore at Ember under CC BY-SA 4.0

Header image produced in-house using original photography by Jörg Peter

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