Biomass is a form of stored solar energy and is available in a number of different forms. These include wood, straw, energy crops, sewage sludge, waste organic materials and animal litter.
Although burning biomass releases carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, this is offset by the carbon dioxide absorbed in the original growth of the biomass, or captured in the growth of new biomass to replace the materials used. As a result, using biomass for heating/electricity generation results in very low net ‘lifecycle’ carbon emissions relative to conventional sources of heating, such as gas, heating oil or electricity.
Biofuels are any kind of fuel made from living things, or from the waste they produce. We use the term biofuels to encompass any alternative substitute for petrol or diesel or other liquid fuel made from processing plant material or waste oil.
Biofuels are not a recent development, they have been around as long as cars have. At the start of the 20th century, Henry Ford planned to fuel his Model Ts with ethanol, and early diesel engines were shown to run on peanut oil. They have though seen significant attention recently due to humanity’s ever-dwindling supply of natural resources or more specifically our over-dependence on fossil fuels.
Hydropower is one of the most efficient ways to generate electricity in the right locations. C.16% of the world’s energy is generated by hydro schemes. Hydro power is also incredibly versatile, providing the ability to increase/decrease output very quickly in response to demand. The UK has a lot of untapped potential in the sub 1MWp market (small/medium)
We use more heat than electricity in the UK, however a unit of electricity is generally more expensive than a unit of heat – hence the focus within the renewable energy world has been more about electricity. This should diminish the technologies or the taking advantage of the opportunities there are to generate heat from renewable sources.
Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into energy. Panels (or photovoltaic panels if you prefer) generate DC power which is then converted into AC before being fed into the grid or a building’s supply
Whilst a nice sunny day will generate excellent output, the PV can produce energy on cloudy days, it is daylight that is required.
The beauty of solar in the context of UK Commercial property is that you are using space that has hitherto been unused (no ‘land cost’)and you can generate electricity to decrease grid usage and therefore reliance on ‘brown’ power.
The UK has some of the best wind resources in Europe that can be used as a low carbon renewable energy supply, to help meet our security of supply and climate change goals,
Onshore and offshore wind generation can make a significant contribution to the UK’s renewable energy targets and aspirations given the UK’s substantial wind resource and the relatively advanced nature of wind generation technology. The UK already has more offshore wind capacity than any other country in the world.