Alternative Energy FAQs

Why alternative energy is not utilised on a larger scale?


Despite the high prices of fossil fuels and the threatening climate change, alternative energy utilisation remains low. Things, however, are changing and the percentage of electricity that is generated from alternative energy and the number of home owners who are using environmentally friendly heating systems are on the rise, albeit slowly. The main reason why alternative energy is not utilised on a larger scale is that it currently cannot meet the demand for energy due to lack of technology as well as due to relatively high cost of both the technology and construction/installation.

What is the Government doing about reducing carbon emissions?

The Government is aware of the problem of both climate change and the risk of energy crisis. It has developed a plan which foresees drastic reduction of carbon emissions (and it is already showing results) and supports utilisation of alternative sources of energy. The plan is to generate most of the country’s electricity by the use of renewable sources of energy and nuclear power. In 2010, the Government has approved construction of up to 8 new nuclear power plants although one of the private suppliers has latter changed its mind. Nevertheless, the construction of the first two reactors in Somerset has already began.

Why green technologies are so expensive?

The interest in alternative energy increased only after the 1970s oil crisis but the development of technology to utilise renewable sources of energy really took off only at the end of the 20th century. This means that green technologies are relatively new and as all new things, they are relatively expensive due to high expenses with development. The prices, however, have started to drop. In addition, not all green technologies require high initial investment. Wood burning stove for instance are very inexpensive including the most efficient ones.

What are the options for home owners?

Home owners are encouraged to do their part of the job and switch to green heating and cooling. There are a number of options such as solar collectors and photovoltaic panels, geothermal heat pumps and wood burning stoves to mention only a few. But firstly, homes should be properly insulated.

When does the investment in alternative energy return?

When the investment in alternative energy will return depends on several factors including insulation of the building and of course the technology chosen. The investment in photovoltaic solar panels in average returns within a decade, while a quality wood burning stove pays off in a few seasons. Small measures such as recycling plastic, and turning off lights.