Countries around the globe are beginning to harness the power of a range of alternative energy resources, and these limitless sources of energy are being hailed as the answer to the world’s future energy needs, helping us to live more sustainably.
In this post, we’re reviewing some of the alternative power sources used in the UK and the advantages and drawbacks of making the switch.
Examples of Alternative Energy Resources
There are many different types of renewable resources, including:
- Solar – solar panels can be installed on your home, but ‘solar farms’ are typically needed to generate commercial levels of power.
- Wind – offshore and inland wind farms are one of the UK’s most prominent types of renewable resources.
- Hydro – this method involves building dams and using the fast-flowing water to create power.
- Biomass – this is power from natural sources such as plant matter and animal waste. This can help reduce the carbon footprint of the meat and dairy industries.
- Geothermal – the UK doesn’t use geothermal power yet, but this method uses steam from reservoirs deep underground to create power.
- Tidal – one of the more commonly-used types of renewable resource in the UK, tidal power harnesses the energy of the sea and converts it into power.
Advantages of Alternative Power Sources
Of course, the main advantage of using different types of renewable resources is that they are just that – renewable! Reserves of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas are finite, so while they aren’t going anywhere just yet, they will run out one day. Renewable energy means harnessing power from the sun, wind and sea, to name a few, so as long as the sun shines and the wind blows, they can generate power.
Additionally, renewable resources are better for the environment than fossil fuels as they contribute to reducing our carbon footprint and minimising the global impact of power generation.
Drawbacks of Alternative Power Sources
Of course, going green and using renewable power is a great concept – we all want to save the planet! But unfortunately, in reality, renewable energy still has a few kinks to work out.
One of the biggest drawbacks of alternative energy resources is reliability. According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, between 2020 and 2021 in the UK, renewable energy capacity rose slightly across wind, solar and biofuel, but generation plummeted. As a result, fossil fuel power generation increased by 36% to make up the deficit.
Despite the increasing focus on renewable energy, it seems that non-renewable energy sources, such as those that go into creating heating oil, will also be at the forefront of many UK homes for some time.
Recently, PM Boris Johnson announced that the UK is now aiming for all of the UK’s electricity to come from clean energy by 2035. While the specifics are not yet clear, the announcement has been met with criticism that the government is not yet doing enough to make this target realistic. Johnson believes that ‘our own clean power’ is the best way forward, but we’ll have to wait and see if alternative power sources are up to the challenge.
Rix and Different Types of Renewable Resources
At Rix, we’re investing in alternative energy resources – one of the latest additions to the Rix family is Rix Renewables, specialising in the maintenance and upkeep of offshore wind farms and other types of renewable resources.
In the meantime, we’re also investing in Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil, or HVO – a new kind of fuel that can be used as diesel or heating oil and emits up to 90% fewer carbon emissions than regular fuel.
As well as working with alternative energy resources, we recommend doing what you can to reduce your carbon footprint wherever possible, so we can all work together on a more sustainable future. To learn more, check out our Corporate Social Responsibility Policy or see our blog for more energy-saving tips!