How Many Homes in the UK Use Solar Power in Their Homes

Solar power has been defined as the energy that is generated by tapping the sun’s heat. The energy derived from the sun is then used to power numerous industries and homes worldwide. There are two main ways through which solar power may be generated namely; by the use of photovoltaic’s (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP).

During the 1980’s, the first plants that used concentrated solar power as its main source of energy were built. Since then, there have been massive developments in that area of energy generation which has seen the construction of the ISEGS, which is the of all concentrated solar power plants in the world, situated in the Mojave Desert in California which produces a total of 392 megawatts of electricity and the Topaz Solar Farm, also located in the United States of America, which is also the largest in the area of photovoltaic power stations in the world which generates about 550 megawatts of electricity.

Since the inception of numerous campaigns creating a global awareness on the need for resorting to cleaner and more environmentally friendly sources of energy, there has been a significant improvement in the total number of users of solar energy throughout the world and this gives the indication that the campaign being undertaken by various organizations and individuals is really having a positive effect on the general public. This therefore means that humans are now becoming more sensitive to all those activities that directly or indirectly damage the serenity and safety of the environment.

The use of solar powered energy in home comes with the following benefits;

  • It does not cause any pollution: The use of solar energy ensures that there are no emissions of dangerous GHG into the atmosphere. One does not need any fuel or gas to be able to make use of the energy generated from the sun and therefore the problem of keeping such harmful pollutants that are always associated with gas is eliminated completely
  • The solar cells also last for a very long time: The use of solar cells in generating solar energy ensures that maintenance does not become a headache for you. These cells can last for a very long time with little maintenance
  • It is also renewable: The energy from the sun will always as long as the sun keeps shining. This means there is no need in refuelling the source of the energy which is always the case with most of the other sources of energy
  • Its installation does not involve a lot of technicalities: This also means that the installation of solar panels does not require a lot of professional know-how as it does not make use of wires. This makes its usage a whole lot easier even for first time users.

As the other sources of energy which cannot be renewed like the fossil fuels, keep diminishing in such huge quantities, the importance of an energy source that can be renewed such as that of solar energy, becomes clearer and clearer by the passing of each day.

The current trend in the area of energy in the world is towards renewable sources of energy and even though there are some disadvantages that are associated with the use of solar energy, it won’t be long before such shortcomings are eliminated from the use of solar energy. Solar energy is the one source of energy which ticks all the positives of an environmentally friendly source of energy.

The total number of homes that use solar energy as their main source of energy in the UK has risen tremendously over the years. This was not the case quite some years back. As at the close of the year 2011, a total of 230,000 solar power projects had been instituted in the United Kingdom and all these solar power plants generated a total electricity of around 750 MW. This capitulated to about 1,000 megawatts during the early stages of the year 2012. This however was not the case some few years ago with a clear example being the year 2006 which saw the generation of around 12.5 megawatts of electricity.

This shows that there is a shift towards solar energy usage in the United Kingdom and it can be attributed to such factors as;

  • The photovoltaic panels being made very affordable
  • The feed-in tariff (FIT) introduced by the government in April, 2010

According to latest figures, the use of solar powered energy has been recorded in about five hundred thousand homes in the UK and it has been projected that by the year 2020, the total number of homes using solar energy would have risen to around ten million.

Looking at the figures of people who have resorted to the use of solar energy and the rate at which the total megawatts of electricity generated keeps increasing exponentially, it is safe to say that most homes in the UK are now resorting to the use of solar energy as their main source of energy.

Though the journey towards a cleaner and safer environment is full of obstacles and impediments, with the use of such sources of energy like solar energy, we will surely reach our destination safely.

When Should I Insulate My Home and What With?

Insulation simply refers to the process of reducing the amount of heat lost or gained in a building through the use of various materials. This is also referred to as thermal insulation.

Being able to thermally insulate one’s home, has always been an area that presents unimagined problems to homeowners. These problems ranges from whether the insulation was properly done, what is the best time to insulate your home, what materials assures you of having the best insulation, which parts of the house to insulate and the prices of these materials. All these makes the mere thought of insulating one’s home a tall hill to climb for most homeowners.

Though trying to insulate your home is as challenging as the word challenging itself, insulating your home is for the greater good of the entire world. Insulating one’s home helps in ensuring that the house becomes energy efficient and this provides the following benefits;

It helps you to save a lot of money that would have been spent on energy bills.

Conservation of fuel is also ensured.

It aids in the provision of an environment that is safe for all mankind.

·         When to insulate your home

This is a question that has always baffled homeowners. Most homeowners are always left in a state of indecision when it comes to the time that it is most important to insulate a home. Homeowners ask themselves questions like, ‘’Do I insulate my home during the construction stage or after the completion of the building?  ‘’Do I do it in the winter or during the summer? However, when it comes to the question of when to insulate your home, it is better to take into consideration the cost involved.

Ø  Insulating your home during the construction stage

This helps you to have an already installed insulation system in your house even before the building gets completed. This type of insulation gives you a more permanent way of checking the amount of heat that is gained or lost within your home. It also ensures that the building gets insulated in a more complete way as every part insulation done at this stage always gets done perfectly well without room for any errors.

Insulation of such buildings mostly make use of insulating materials such as foam, fibreglass, cellulose and sometimes rock wool (mineral wool), rigid foams, (SIP’s) structural insulated panels and sprayed foam.  New homes also make use of blanket insulation.

When one insulates his or her home during the construction stage, it helps one to have time to carefully select the best insulating materials. In other words, one is able to select the insulating materials that have the highest R-values or have the best ability to control the amount of heat gained or lost in the building.

Ø  Insulating your home after the building has been completed

This is the most common insulation that one is likely to find these days. People are sometimes obsessed with having a house that they live in insulated to their taste and needs. The possibility of an individual getting his or her own house constructed is becoming a bit outmoded as these estate developers acquire vast plots of land and develop entire communities on these lands and sell them to people who are ready to own a house. With such agencies around, the idea of getting your house insulated during the construction stage is eliminated. This leaves a homeowner with no other option than to go in for an after completion insulation.

This type of insulation offers homeowners some advantages which include;

It provides one with the opportunity to insulate the house to meet your requirements.

It makes it possible for you to insulate places that really need to be insulated instead of having to insulate everything.

It also helps a homeowner to know the right insulation materials to use in order to gain maximum results.

Insulation during construction stage and insulation after construction of the building are the two major periods during which one can insulate his or her home. It is therefore up to a homeowner to choose which of these periods to insulate his or her home whilst taking into consideration which is most appropriate.

·         What to insulate your home with

This is also another aspect of the problems associated with insulation of one’s home which has for some time now worried most homeowners. Finding the right materials to insulate one’s home with has always been a tough nut to crack for homeowners and it is only expedient to take a brief look into such an area.

Materials for insulating various parts of a building:

  1. Blanket (batts and rolls): This is used in the insulation of uncompleted walls, floors and ceilings. The materials used include fiberglass, mineral wool, plastic fibers and natural fibers.
  2. Concrete block insulation: This used in the insulation of walls that have not been finished, new constructions as well as major renovations and concrete blocks. The materials used include foam board and foam beads.
  3. Rigid foam: This is used in the insulation of roofs, floors, ceilings and unfinished walls. The materials used are polystyrene, polyisocyanurate and polyurethane.
  4. Insulating concrete forms (ICF’s): This is used in the insulation of all unfinished walls in a new building. The materials used are foam boards or blocks
  5. Loose-fill and Blown-in: This is used in the insulation of enclosed walls or open spaces found within walls, attic floors that are not yet completed and other places that cannot be reached easily.
  6. Reflective system: This is used in the insulation of uncompleted walls, ceilings and floors. The materials used include foil-faced Kraft paper, plastic film, polyethylene bubbles and cardboard.
  7. Fiber insulation: This is used in the insulation of ducts in spaces and places that have the capability of withstanding very hot conditions. The materials used include fiberglass and mineral wool.
  8. Sprayed foam: This is used in the insulation of enclosed walls, open places within walls and uncompleted attic floors. The materials used are polyurethane, polyisocyanurate, phenolic and cementitious.
  9. Structural insulated panels (SIP’s): This is used in the insulation of uncompleted walls, ceilings, floors and the roofs of new buildings. The materials used include foam board and straw core insulation.

These are the various materials that can be used in insulating different parts of a building. It is worthy to note that each material should be used specifically for the stated part of the building so as to ensure maximum results.