While solar power is the most popular renewable energy source for residential areas, there are many alternatives to solar panels for home use available. Using a renewable source to provide your home with electricity and heating is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint.
The environmental and economic advantages of using renewable energy are significant. When you hook your house up with sun, wind, biomass, or hydropower, you make it more sustainable and help lead a worldwide transition to cleaner energy.
Technological advancements have produced various ways to create renewable energy. Solar power might be the most well-known, but there are other efficient and cheaper alternatives to solar panels that you can invest in. By making use of one of the five renewable energy systems outlined in this article, you’ll contribute to a greener environment and save some money while you’re at it.
5 Green-Energy Alternatives to Solar Panels for Home Use
While a micro-hydroelectric system might not work for everyone, if you have flowing water on your property, this option could be great for you. Whether you have a river or a small stream nearby, you can divert the flow through a micro-hydroelectric system to generate renewable energy for home use.
There are several ways to generate energy with water. Your micro-hydroelectric system will need vertical water flow diverted to a waterwheel, turbine, or pump in a controlled manner, and you can set up a micro-hydroelectric system by yourself if you have some engineering knowledge.
A hydropower system’s advantages are that it’s stable and continuous so long you have flowing water. It’s also cheaper than solar power systems and easier to maintain.
You can take advantage of the earth’s underground temperature by installing geothermal energy systems at your home. Geothermal energy works by way of looping pipes and a pump. It can heat or cool your house, supply it with hot water, and generate electricity. It transfers heat to or from the earth’s surface and can be used in any climate.
Investing in geothermal energy for home is an excellent option if you want something with a long life span (expect a system to last 25 years!) while reducing your house’s carbon emission and having a continuous supply of energy. Geothermal energy systems are reliable and green, though the initial costs can be high.
Wind Power Systems
When you think of alternatives to solar panels for home use, wind turbines might not come to mind. They’re usually big, loud, and need wide-open spaces. Luckily advanced technology has made it possible to install a micro wind turbine system in your backyard.
Wind turbines generate electricity by turning blades, making sustained winds a must in your area. If you live in an area where high-speed wind is a daily occurrence, this renewable energy source will be a better option than solar panels. Wind turbine systems are green, reliable, and cost-effective, while a disadvantage is the noise some systems produce.
Burning biomass, such as wood, garbage, plants, and other organic matter, can generate electricity or provide homes with heat. It’s considered a low carbon energy source that ranks high on the list of cheaper alternatives to solar panels.
For residential use, you can utilize biomass to heat water, cook or warm your house. Although wood is the most common fuel source used, many other options are available. The advantages of using biomass systems to generate energy are that its fuel sources are widely available, and using it, reduces landfill garbage.
If you want to use the sun to generate energy but skip the part where you need to invest in a solar panel system, there are various alternatives to solar panels for home use to fill a select energy need.
You can replace your outdoor lights with solar lights or use sun tunnels or solar tube lights to provide your home with light during the day. If you like cooking and baking a lot, replace your electric oven with a solar oven when cooking and baking in the mornings and afternoon. Use a solar air conditioner to cool your house or heat water with a solar water heater. If you want to generate energy for general home use, consider installing solar shingles which are similar to solar panels but different.
How to Choose the Best Renewable Energy Source for Your Home
Planning to install a renewable energy system at your home is a process that requires lots of thought. Whether you want to use a solar panel system or one of the alternatives available, there are a few things you need to determine and consider before investing.
Source Availability: Checking which energy source you’ll be able to utilize is the first step you’ll need to take before investing in renewable energy for home use. Your property may not get enough wind to operate a wind turbine system but can access a flowing water source to run a hydropower one.
Electricity Needs: Recording your daily energy needs is essential in deciding which renewable energy source will meet them. Calculating your electricity needs will help you determine the system’s size and how stable its production should be.
Grid-Connected or Off-Grid: You need to consider whether you want to install an energy system that will simply reduce the amount of energy provided to your home through the grid or if you’re going to use the electricity generated through your chosen system in place of energy from the grid.
Local Rules: Depending on where you stay, your local codes may not permit the installation of specific energy systems, and they may also require that you stay connected to the grid. Checking your local regulations and requirements is vital before investing in a renewable energy-generating system.
There are many opportunities to make a difference in the environmental impact energy production has. As a homeowner, you can start taking measures to reduce your energy needs and switch your energy source to a more sustainable one. Choosing an eco-friendly energy source might seem like a daunting task at first, but knowing that there are various alternatives to solar panels for home use will make it possible for you to find an option that suits your area and needs best.