How Good Is Solar Energy In The UK?

January 7, 2012 by Liam Raikes  
Filed under Environment

With the UK not having a particularly warm or sunny climate, how much use can you get out of solar energy? That is what this article is going to explore. We’ll look at how solar cells work, what the environmental and financial benefits are, and so whether solar energy uk production is actually worth it.

How Solar Panels Work

With the UK being under cloud cover for much of the time, how much usage are you going to be able to get out of solar panels? The answer is a lot, because they do still work whether it is cloudy or not. That is not to say, however, that they do not work better, creating more electricity, when it is hot and sunny, but they do work. The reason for this is that they rely on light, not heat, to create electricity.

It is actually very complicated how this works, so this will only be a very brief overview. It comes down to the fact that they are made of light sensitive semi-conductive materials though. What this means is that when a photon (a particle of light) hits a solar cell it frees an electron. The flow of electrons is what electricity is, so solar cells can be set up in such a way that this creates a current of electricity.

The more energy the electrons are hit with though, the more electricity is created. So the more energy is in the light, the brighter it appears, the more energy the electrons will get. So they certainly do perform to a higher standard in warmer climates, but they will work just about anywhere.

The Environmental Benefits

On a global level solar energy is very important because of the effects that it has on the environments. Actually it would be more accurate to say that it is important because of the lack of effects it has. The normal sorts of energy that we use do have effects, we generally have to burn something and this can cause pollution and it usually means that carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere as well. This is the way that man-made global warming is created.

In terms of the environment, the main benefit they have is that they are clean. That’s why, strictly speaking, they don’t have any positive or negative effects on the environment. At least in isolation they do not, but when you consider that we have to get our energy from either clean or polluting sources, the more we get from clean sources the less we need polluting forms of energy. So that’s the way solar energy benefits the environment.

What Are The Economic Benefits?

It is an undeniable fact that one day non-renewable energy will run out. Even before that happens though, it will be too expensive to extract from the ground, meaning more energy will be needed to get it out than it will provide. When that happens, if we’re not already getting our energy from renewable sources the economy will collapse. We simply won’t have the energy for it to keep going. That’s the future benefits to the economy of solar energy.

On an individual level though, the benefits can be felt right now. These come in the form of savings, because you are not going to have to pay so much on energy bills when you are using solar energy. It also comes in the form of the feed in tariff though, which actually pays you money for the energy created. The reason this scheme is in place is to encourage people to use more solar energy so that we can get the aforementioned environmental benefits.

You can get a free quote on solar cells for your house from the website Oscar Watson also writes at, Solar Energy UK.


Think Outside The Box For Smaller Energy Bills

December 18, 2011 by Lonrna Davis  
Filed under Business

As electricity prices spiral way out of control we’re all searching for methods to help reduce our power consumption. The bad news is that with oil prices bumping $100 a barrel the rising trend in electricity costs is most likely going to get worse not better. Almost all of the easy systems of reducing the amount of electricity you use on a day by day basis you have possibly already implemented.

Strategies like replacing bulbs in your home with low-energy ones and switching off new appliances for example are both cheap and simple to effect however there is a lot more that can be done if you're ready to spend a little cash now for Energy Savings Products.

The following methods though not advanced science or dear to carry out will in the long term help you to cut the amount of electricity you consume although break even point won't be realized for about a year.

Electricity Consumption Monitors. For roughly $40 you can purchase a gadget which consistently monitors the amount of electricity you are using at any particular time. These devices typically come in two parts both powered by batteries. The 1st part is a sender unit that is attached to one of the cables leaving your electricity meter and it measures the power being employed by all of the electric devices in your house and sends the results to a receiver unit. The second part is a receiver unit that is mounted in an outstanding position in your home where it can be easily viewed.

It has a large LCD display which shows in Kilowatts how much electricity you are using right now. After a couple of weeks of normal usage you'll get an understanding of what's the standard base rate of power you are using on a typical day. For my home it’s about 0.3 – 0.6 KW. If on passing the unit I see a reading of 2 Kilowatts or even more I know something that is drawing lots of power has been left switched on. Frequently it seems the oven or microwave is the culprit and as it’s my dinner that is being cooked it can be ignored.

Occasionally though it turns out something has been left switched on by mistake and more frequently than not it is the water heater. Now a hot water heater will draw 2 KW of power plus and leaving it on when it is not required could be a costly business and it’s this type of pointless usage the electricity monitor can help you save.

Standby Energy Savers. These devices can be purchased for about $30 and are a great way to save electricity. Most electrical devices have a standby mode that appears to switch the device off. The reality though is that standby mode for a TV for example can use up to seventy pc or more of the TV’s normal power consumption!

This is pricey as these items are frequently left at the ready 24 hours a day. An energy saver works by sitting between the mains plug and the offending machine. When you wish to power off the device you simply click on a button on a supplied radio control and the power is actually cut off. These devices are fantastic for equipment which has the electric socket in a position where it is impossible to get at to physically switch it off fit the device and the remote control does the rest. This can also be terribly reassuring when leaving the house for one or two days you know for sure that your electronic equipment is disconnected from the mains.

Each of the above devices have a cost up front that many aren't prepared to pay but when you consider the upward trend in energy costs is up just imagine the long term savings you might make by fitting these cheap devices.

Reducing the amount of electricity you use at home has never been more important than today. With electricity prices rising faster than inflation it’s time to take a look at some innovative ways to reduce your current Energy Consumption including switching to a cheaper supplier like the Utility Warehouse.