Renewable energy sources. Old Idea, New Technology!

Renewable energy sources. Old Idea, New Technology!

mill-wheel-945016_640-1Using renewable energy is nothing new.

The water wheel and the windmill for power, the burning reeds and wax candles for light, though a huge improvement on muscle power and the moon and stars, were themselves superseded by steam and gas. The consumption of fossil fuels had begun. Coal burned to heat our homes and to cook on, to provide steam power for the factories and the railways. Gas burned to provide light in our homes and on our streets only to be superseded itself by electricity. Fossil fuels ruled the world and the old ways  were dumped in the waste bin of progress. Global warming, and the visible pollution of the air we breath eventually brought home to many that something had to be done. I very much doubt that even the most ardent anti-green sceptic would wish to return to the days before England introduced the smokeless zones. What would our large cities be like today if we still heated our homes with coal and still ran our cars on leaded fuel, would we even be able to see our hand in front of our faces for most of the year.

There is a balance to be struck between Fossil energy and renewable. Britain sadly is not blessed with endless sunny summer days. So solar panels cannot be expected to provide all the power and heat for everyone. Wind power, offshore and on hills can take up some of the slack as can wave turbines. Using Heat pumps and underfloor heating can reduce the use of fossil fuels. The technology is moving forward, the costs are slowly coming down,  there is the benefit of lower energy bills, the reduction of carbon emissions and the possible slowing down of global warming.  The reports that the sea level is rising as the polar ice caps melt is an old prediction that was mostly ignored or ridiculed as sensationalist and so here we are, already some low lying Islands in the pacific have disappeared. Coastlines are being eroded more and more quickly. Flooding and high winds more commonplace. The use of renewable energy may not be able to reverse the impact fossil fuels have had on the environment but they could be one solution to how to slow it down and maybe even bring it to a stop.

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