For a number of years, enthusiastic followers of all things green talked up the idea of green energy and more efficient, cleaner sources of power. This commentary largely fell on deaf ears other than for a few academic researchers, the companies that manufactured the early stage green technologies themselves, and other interested parties.


Over the past few years, the status quo with green technologies seems to be changing. The catalysts for change include falling prices with manufacturing, increased demand as installation costs have steadily fallen and renewed interest in green technology from more mainstream consumers.


Mainstream consumers have been troubled by the increasingly obvious effects of global warming which is thought to have been caused by carbon emissions, amongst other things. As the seasonal weather patterns continue to shift, with alternative more extreme highs and more extreme lows being experienced all over the planet, people around the world are beginning to take the health of the planet more seriously. A little too late, some might argue, but to arrest the negative effects caused by more damage in the future, better late than never.


Top of the list for green technology is solar power. Plants soak up a few percent of the rays beamed down from the sun, but solar panels are more efficient and can collect up to 15 percent of the sun-rays. A line of solar panels, usually affixed to the roof or the side of the home, are oriented for the best solar vantage point. The sun-rays are then converted into energy, which is transferred into the home. The energy can then be used immediately, in place of the always-on utility supply, or (partially or fully) stored in batteries for later use depending on the needs at the time.


Wind turbines have also become a topic of some interest because they have recently been redesigned from tall poles with a rotating blade (not unlike a propeller) to tall thinner poles, with rotating twisted blades which swirl around in a futuristic-looking manner. The latter take up little space, require less wind speed to be effective and due to the curved design of the blades, create little noise resistance and is not harmful to bird life.


Renewable energy is seen as the wave of the future. Unlike improvements such as biomass boilers which create co2 as they burn the wood to generate electricity, wind turbines and solar panels are much cleaner sources of renewable energy. Once the manufacturing has been completed – which can be negative to the environment like most manufacturing is – a turbine or solar panel installation can last for a decade or more.


The green deal initiative is a terrific new government program to offer loans to home owners who wish to make green changes to their property in order to create energy savings. A whole host of green improvements is possible. These include installing renewable sources of energy, a underfloor heating system, storage heaters, energy saving light bulbs, and improved insulation materials installed in the surrounding walls.