With the cost of traditional energy sources increasing and climate change becoming a more important issue, people are looking for ways to both cut their energy bills and be more environmentally aware. One option is solar power, but as the industry continues to grow and the benefits of solar become more apparent, a question that arises is: ‘What’s a good alternative to solar panels?’
In most cases, solar power is beneficial to individuals and the environment, but for those living in areas where it doesn’t reach, alternative energy is desirable. Fortunately, there are several options available to those who want to generate their own electricity without needing to install solar panels, and several of these options are remarkably cost-efficient compared to traditional energy sources. Let’s examine the alternatives.
Wind power is one of the oldest, if not the very first, alternative energy sources to be utilized on a large scale. Wind power is free and the environment benefits from its use because the blades capture energy from the atmosphere and don’t cause any air pollution. Wind power is also one of the cleanest and best resources for energy production. However, access to fast and reliable power is critical if you want to use this option, as the demand for electricity often reaches its peak during peak hours.
Wind power is certainly an attractive option for anyone, particularly those in the UK who experience rough weather more often than not. The average household in the UK spends about £120 per year on energy bills, and about £55 of that comes from lighting and heating. Therefore, if you use a lot of energy during the day, you will have to find another solution besides wind power. This can be seriously challenging, especially if you are living in a remote area and don’t have reliable access to fast charging points. Even if you do have access to a fast charger, they can be incredibly expensive and generate their own electricity using fossil fuels, which are harmful to the environment. Wind power is also best employed in areas with a good wind flow and high ground clearance, as the taller and more majestic the building, the better the wind flow will be. Obstructions such as trees and large buildings can interfere with the flow of energy and reduce the overall capacity of wind farms. In these cases, you will have to look elsewhere for power.
Hydro power is another great source of renewable energy and is generated via renewable sources of water such as rain and rivers. The entire process of converting water into electricity is called hydropower, and several dams around the world use this form of energy to produce electricity. The only issue with hydro power is that it can be incredibly expensive to install and maintain, as well as having the potential to damage the environment by flooding areas. However, given its widespread adoption around the globe, it is clear that this form of energy is here to stay.
Biomass power is generated from biological material such as plants and algae, which are grown using organic materials such as food crops and recycled plastic. The entire process of converting food waste or other organic material into electricity is called biomass power, and several plants and algae around the world use this energy source to produce electricity. Similar to hydro power, biomass power can be extremely costly to install and maintain, and it is also responsible for several ecological issues, particularly when it comes to soil pollution. Fortunately, due to its rising popularity and the government’s backing, there has been a significant reduction in the amount of soil pollution caused by improper biomass power facilities.
Like wind power and hydro power, solar power is another great source of renewable energy that doesn’t cause air pollution and is incredibly beneficial to the environment. However, due to its wide adoption and its reliance on sunshine and air pollution-free materials, the cost of solar power is increasing at an alarming rate. The cost of solar power has nearly doubled in the UK over the past year and is predicted to continue rising due to an increase in demand and a reduction in supply. Installing solar power on your roof is undoubtedly the simplest and most cost-effective way of generating your own electricity and is also popular because it is easy to understand and more reliable than other options.
The major issue with solar power is that it can only be used to generate electricity and can’t be stored; it’s a direct source of energy that you can’t turn off or on during times of need. Additionally, during times of strong sun, the demand for electricity from solar power exceeds the supply and this can cause power cuts or fluctuations. Ultimately, as the industry continues its journey towards becoming more cost-effective and sustainable, more and more people are turning towards solar power and the prices are beginning to reflect this trend.
If you live in a place where there is an abundance of sunshine but you still want an alternative energy source, solar power is an ideal option. Similar to wind and hydropower, solar power is free and has the potential to reduce your energy bills. However, if you live in a place where the sun doesn’t shine or if you want to be eco-friendly, you will have to consider alternatives.