10 Fairly Fun Facts About Renewable Energy
Most of us are aware of the costly impact our demand for energy has on the environment. Here at Foxglove Energy we are passionate about our responsibility to the well-being of our planet. We can all do our bit to lower our use of fossil fuels and with it our carbon footprint. Renewable energy with its non-polluting qualities and infinite capacity can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere and in-turn help save our increasingly fragile planet.
We owe it to our future generations and it is important that we get to know as much as we can about the four sources of renewable energy; solar, wind, water and the natural heat from the earth. (Bio-fuel and geothermal) Together we can lessen our reliance on traditional forms of energy and move forward to a greener future. So, here are ten fairly fun facts to get you up-to speed.
- Looking out the window at the pouring rain pummelling against the window, you may find it hard to believe that enough sunlight falls on the earth in a single hour to meet the whole world’s energy requirements for an entire year! Harnessed properly, the great fiery ball in the sky is a highly efficient and clean source of energy.
- As we’re on the subject of the weather in good ol’ Blighty, it takes a wind speed of just 14mph to convert wind energy into electricity. With one wind turbine producing enough power to supply up-to 1400 homes with electricity, these blustery conditions are ideal for producing renewable energy.
- About 71% of the planet is made up from water, so it makes sense that this is currently the most commonly used renewable source. Providing the energy needs for over 28 million people.
- You may think that using renewable energy is a predominantly modern initiative. However, along with indoor plumbing, straight roads and sewage systems the Romans were one of the first to utilise the heat from the earth and harness geothermal energy to heat their homes. In the UK 20% of us live in an area suitable for Geothermal District Heating using heat pumps.
- Solar panels are an earth-friendly way to generate renewable energy and we have none other than Albert Einstein to thank for this. More-famously known for his theories on gravity and relativity, Albert was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1921 for his innovative discovery of the photoelectric effect, which allows us to convert sunlight into electricity and to heat our water.
- It is thought that air travel accounts for up to a huge 9% of the total climate change impact of human activity. With the aviation industry expanding at a significant rate it is difficult to see how this figure can drop. However, all is not lost. Back in 1990 a word record was set when a plane traversed the United States (in stages) powered by solar energy alone!
- We can use Portugal as a blueprint for what is possible with increasing renewable energy. In just a five-year period the Country’s electricity use rose from 15% to 45% in green energy. We’re doing pretty well in the UK with renewables accounting for 20% of our electricity with the target of raising this to 30% by 2020.
- One of the most creative advancements in renewable energy is that we now have the ability to use the sun’s rays throughout the night. A power plant in Spain soaks up the sun during the day and then stores them in a special salt enabling over seven hours of power to be distributed to the surrounding areas.
- Wind turbines have developed rapidly in recent years. 30 years ago a turbine had blades measuring just five metres long. These day’s most modern designs feature 75 metre blades producing 25,000 times more power. In Hawaii the biggest turbine in the world boasts blades the length of a football pitch!
- In Paraguay, 90% of the country’s electricity is produced by the Itaipu Dam and in Iceland 100% of their energy is powered by geothermal and hydropower sources. There are even rumours circulating about the practicality of connecting Iceland’s efficient source with the UK grid!
Hopefully these fairly fun facts have provided an extra insight into the wonderful world of renewable energy and the endless possibilities that are literally all around us. By harnessing the incredible elements the Earth has given us we have the opportunity to really make a difference and help keep our world happy and healthy for many generations to come.