Updated: Feb 15
You’ve made the decision to go green and switch up your energy for a greener alternative. But where to start? Don’t worry - Club Leaf’s got you covered with our 4 types of green energy to get you to a greener lifestyle!
This is the obvious one 😉 - solar panels (PV - photovoltaics) are widely used on many homes these days. You’ve probably seen them in your neighborhood! They absorb energy from the sun and transform them into electricity. A few panels on your roof or garage will likely cover your daily electricity use - check to see if there is a free calculator in your country.
Solar panels are a great way to go green when the sun is shining but when it’s not - they’ll need to be combined with a second source of green energy, stored in a battery, or you’ll have to rely on electricity from the grid.
The good news is that the cost of solar panels has dropped dramatically and therefore it’s cheaper than ever to go green! On the downside - massive demand for solar PV installation due to the increasing cost of energy has meant that waiting times to install them are long. Let’s just say there is a market for retraining to install green energy technology if you’re interested…
Solar thermal panels
Similar to solar PV panels, solar thermal panels collect the sun’s rays and capture that energy into heat that can be used to heat hot water and central heating in your home. They are generally cheaper than solar PV, and work great with underfloor heating. They even work on cloudy days! It’s one way to reduce usage of natural gas for heating and will save up to 50% on heating costs. Check to see if your government provides subsidies for this green energy installation, like they do in The Netherlands. The downside: solar thermal panels are likely not optimal at delivering all the heat you need in the winter, which is why you can combine it with other green energy sources like a heat pump (see below).
Heat pumps: like fridges but then for heating. Super efficient, they don’t burn fuel to provide heat and function in temperatures down to -30˚C! There are a few different types depending on where the heat is extracted from: the air, the ground or water. They work all year round and use minimal electricity to heat our homes and hot water. There are some ‘buts’ - if your home is badly insulated then any savings will be limited. Check to see if there are any subsidies for insulating your home and installing heat pumps near you! You can find out more green lifestyle tips on the Club Leaf app.
Mini wind-turbines differ from traditional ones in how they spin - on their vertical axis rather than like a clock. Check out the different types here (in dutch). There are models being developed for urban environments, but these ones would be great on factories or out in the countryside where the wind blows the hardest. Here’s one to keep an eye on for future green living.
Ok we got carried away and can’t just limit it to 4 green tips - here are some extra Club Leaf Tips!
If you’re a landowner - why not check out the options for wind-power or hydro-power?
If you can’t switch to green energy production at home - see if you can switch to a green energy supplier!
Check the options for going green with your neighbors as a cooperative or check to see if there is already one in the area like Buurtstroom in the Netherlands.
Check to see if there are local funds that you can take part in. If you’re renting - check to see if your building owner has plans.
Would you like to read more? Check out our blog about 4 green energy solutions to change the world. Did you know we also have green lifestyle tips to help reduce your energy use? Check them out on the Club Leaf app!