One of the biggest problems in terms of switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy is that of transport. That’s because most renewable resources have to be gathered in a stationary location, and there’s no way of creating a fuel that can be used in individual vehicles the way that we can with oil. Fortunately though, that’s not the case with solar energy. Not that a fuel can be produced, it doesn’t have to be because the solar panels work just as well on moving vehicles (the sun shines everywhere!).
Recently we discussed solar powered cars, both in terms of sporting application and more usefully, for the road. While cars are presently causing a lot of the pollution that leads to global warming, another large problem is boating. Particularly merchant boating, as that is one of the only ways to transport large quantities of goods between land masses. For the UK in particular then, it is particularly important, as we are cut off from everywhere else by the sea.
It is very encouraging news, therefore, that we are seeing solar-powered boats now. Not many, but it is still in its infancy. Recently, however, the world’s biggest solar-powered boat docked in Hong Kong on its round the world tour which started in Monaco nearly a year ago. This is a boat which can carry 50 passengers, so it’s not as big as the current cruise liners but it’s not that small either.
The owner of this 100ft long Catamaran said there is “huge potential” for boats powered by solar energy. The most important thing, of course, is that it actually works, and that is clear from the fact that it has been at sea since last September. Also, as there are no fuelling costs, it could become a relatively cheap option soon (especially with conventional fuel costs rising so sharply).
Of course it is not the tourist industry that is the biggest concern here, it is merchant shipping, which is responsible for 4.5% of the carbon emissions every year. If merchant ships can be designed which are powered by solar energy, then that will be a massive step towards a sustainable global transport system.
Solar Panels for Your Home
That is all something that is going to have to be worked out on an industrial level though. What can be done on an individual scale is getting solar panels for your home. Not everyone is in a position to do that of course, either because of the direction their roofs face or for financial reasons. In terms of finances though, it is now much more viable due to the introduction of the feed in tariff.
If you get solar panels installed by MCS accredited solar installers (like the ones provided by Solar Energy UK) then you can enter the feed in tariff scheme, whereby you will be paid for all of the energy that you produce. At the moment, that is the best that we landlubbers can do to help the environment and keep energy costs down.
Solar Energy UK
If you would like a free quote for a solar installation, get in touch with us for a free solar energy consultation, including a free, no obligation quote for an installation.