A brief overview of some renewable technologies are given below.
Solar PV is perhaps the best known renewable technology. It was actually first invented as early as 1860, since then the technology has come on leaps and bounds and the last 40 years, especially, have seen a dramatic decrease in the cost of solar PV at the same time as an increase in efficiencies causing them to become a cheap and reliable technology. The size of the system required depends on your needs and your building.
A typical household can meet all of their energy needs with a 3.5kw system (costing between £4000 – £6000) and with an average annual saving of around £800/year.
Solar water heating systems capture the heat from the Sun and use it to heat up water for use in the home.
A Typical system will cost around £3000, provides heating and hot water and can save around £300 per year
Wind turbines harness the power of the wind to turn a generator, a wind turbine’s output depends greatly on your location but for guidance A 1.5-kW wind turbine will meet the needs of a home requiring 300 kWh per month in a location with a 14 MPH annual average wind speed.
This size of system costs £1500 – £3000.
Heat pumps use energy in the ground to deliver heating and hot water. to the home. They work using gas expansion, similar to a fridge but takes advantage of this principle for heating rather than cooling.
As a rule of thumb, a ground-source system is likely to cost about £1000 per installed kilowatt (kW).