There has been a lot of debate about the contribution renewable energy is having or potentially could have as part of our growing energy needs. Is alternative energy really a feasible answer to our current energy problems.
There is no doubt that in the West our energy demands are rising even with the introduction of more energy efficient appliances. Our current infrastructure is struggling to keep up and at some point soon a permanent solution will need to be found.
Green energy has long been seen as the answer with it’s ability to produce limitless amounts of free non polluting power. There is however a problem, with current technology we will not be able to meet the current demands. The current focus is on wind energy and photovoltaic solar panels. Whilst these are proven technologies they are nowhere near efficient enough to provide all our energy needs with our current land mass.
We also have the added problem that the actual infrastructure that carries the electricity from where it is produced to our homes is very inefficient. Much of the power generated is lost in the transfer of the power. Before we can concentrate on renewables we need to fix the infrastructure first. If you had a badly leaking tap you wouldn’t go and build a bigger reservoir would you?
Too much focus is being put on solar and wind, tide and wave power is severely underutilised and could in theory produce a large percentage of our energy needs. No only this but the sea is reliable and predictable unlike the sun and wind. With twice daily tides and continuous waves power from the sea looks like it can overcome many of the shortcomings of renewable energy.
We also need to look at our own power consumption, it is a lot easier and a lot more cost effective to reduce the amount of energy we consume rather than try to keep pace with it. Many appliances wee use in the home are inefficient and power hungry. We leave things on when we are not using them and most of us have no idea which of the appliances in our homes are the ones that eat up all that power.
The reason for this is our relatively cheap power being supplied from gas and coal. This free ride will not last forever and we are going to see a steep rise in the cost of running our homes. Surely now is a good time to prepare for this rather than just waiting for it to happen and have to face the sudden price rise.