Most of our electricity comes from fossil fuels and nuclear power stations. More than 66% of the total electricity generated in Europe and in North America is sourced from non-renewable fuels all contributing to global warming, climatic changes, landscape changes, and destruction of the ecosystem. It is high time we all switched over to green electricity, which is energy produced from non-carbon sources like wind energy, solar energy, and tidal energy.
Where Do We Get Green Electricity From?
There are many sources in the EU that are used to generate green electricity. Most of the sources like geothermal and tidal energy are impractical on a small scale but you can use solar energy to supply at least 20% of your electricity needs at home and in the office.
If the countries in the Euro Zone meet up and chalk out a green electricity (and energy) plan, there could be instant harnessing of the plentiful wind energy that Europe is blessed with.
Solar power using photovoltaic panels has massive potential even though Europe has less solar power generation potential than countries like South Africa, Australia and the Indian sub-continent. Hydro-electricity, tidal power, wave power and biomass fuelled power stations are all set to grow and contribute more to our energy needs.
If these sources are effectively utilised and made available as convenient and affordable electricity and fuel sources to the populace, there would be no extra pressure on the Union to import costly fuels from the Middle East, Russia and Canada.
Wind power investment is currently being scaled back by the British Government because of nimbyism; nobody wants a wind turbine in the field next to them. People are also protesting because of the visual effect of these structures on the landscape.
What Can You Do?
We all have access to green electricity tariffs if we are willing to pay the slightly higher charge per unit. Most people are not willing to pay a penny extra on their current electricity bills though. The differential between green and carbon-based energy tariffs is likely to swing the other way in the next few years as carbon taxes bite and governments have to work harder to meet treaty commitments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Photo-Voltaic (PV) Panels
We all have roofs that we can install PV panels on. This is expensive but the pay-off is fantastic even if you borrow the money to install them. Feed in tariffs ad smart meters allow you to export your surplus (green) electricity to the National Grid and get paid for doing so. If the people in the know and with money are doing it then it must make sense for everyone to do it if they possibly can.
Use Less Electricity
Even without switching to a green tariff you can play a part by reducing your energy consumption.
Put off lights where they aren’t in use
This advice is practical and simple, and yet hugely ignored in most houses and office. Putting off lights that are unnecessary can save you a lot of money on your electricity
Cut down on extravagant energy use
Do you really need that chandelier that glows in your balcony? Must you splurge on a lot of garden light to simply make your house glitter and be the highlight of your neighbourhood? Sell that patio heater and the electric lights you have all around your garden.