THE NEED FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY
THE CHANGING CLIMATE
Environmental issues, sustainability and renewable energy are subjects barely mentioned, let alone discussed, in mainstream broadcasting and writing only 10 years ago but have become almost everyday items of news and consideration. Sustainability statements, increased energy efficiency, new building regulations, energy audits and renewables technologies are issues that are increasingly occupying the minds of government, local authorities and housing associations. Even some builders are recognising that business as usual is not an option. Consumer interest has also been aroused and continues to increase rapidly.
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING NOW?
THE ENVIRONMENTAL ARGUEMENT
The sun is the source of most of our renewable energy supplies. Energy from the sun is clean and abundant. There is a widely held opinion that the UK does not have enough sunshine to make solar systems worthwhile. In fact parts of the UK have annual solar radiation levels equal to 60% of those experienced at the equator.
However, this energy is not received uniformly throughout the year. Some 70% of UK annual radiation is received over the period April to September and 25% is received in the months of June and July.
Solar water heating technology is about using this energy and converting it into a form that can be used in buildings and industry, thus displacing conventional energy sources.