100% renewable energy

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100% renewable energy

17.07.2014
Renewable energies are those coming from natural resources that don't run out. The environmental impact resulting from the use of this energy is null, something that cannot be said about non-renewable energies sourced from fossil fuels (petroleum, coal or gas).
 
Among renewable resources are solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, hydraulic energy and electrical energy. Not just these: biomass (organic material of animal and vegetable origen) and tidal energy (obtained by taking advantage of sea tides) can be added to this category, since emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO₂, are reduced to zero.
 
According to the Energy Diversification and Savings (IDAE, in its Spanish acronym), renewable energies are clean resources whose impact is practically null and always reversible.
 
While it's true that the production of some renewable energies depends upon climate conditions, as is the case of wind energy, the IDAE highlights that these types of energies, considered green, help to lower dependency on external supply companies. Likewise, they notably reduce the risk of a scarce supply and they favour technological development, and as such, the creation of employment.
 
In developed countries we truly realise the importance of energy when an interruption in supply occurs A continuous electrical cut, for example, leaves us practically paralysed both at home and in the building where we live. Something similar occurs when our hot water is shut off, or the heating doesn't work. The growing demand for energy in large cities should make us be aware that using renewable energies as much as is possible implies better energy efficiency and less environmental impact.
 
 
Differences between non-renewable and renewable energy
 
Non-renewable energies make up a total of 92% of Spain's total energy consumption. Fossil fuels that produce electric energy, such as petroleum, coal and gas, as well as minerals such as uranium.
The reserves of non-renewable resources are limited and diminish as reserves run out. That's why exploitation costs are constantly rising. This obliges a more responsible consumption not just day to day, but permanently. There is a need to become aware that these are resources that are truly going to run out.
 
On the other hand, renewable energies, such as solar, hydraulic and wind energy, come from natural resources that can be accessed ass needed. They have have zero impact on the emission of greenhouse gases, such as CO₂. In the year 2008, these types of energy represented 7.6% of Spain's primary energy consumption. Of this percentage, 6.2% was obtained from non-hydraulic renewable energies (biomass and solar, fundamentally).
 
 
Switch to Solar Energy
 
It will interest you to know that if your dwelling is a new construction or is in need of remodelling, it ought to have a solar energy system to obtain domestic hot water (DHW).
 
This is set forth in the Technical Building Code (CTE in its Spanish acronym) which since 2006 has made the installation of solar energy systems obligatory for the provision of DHW in all new construction buildings and in the remodelling of existing buildings of any use type where there is a demand for domestic hot water and/or the heating of a covered pool.
In addition to the CTE, many municipalities have municipal ordinances related with the use of solar thermal energy in new or remodelled buildings.

The European Union has set as objective for 2020 that 20% of final gross consumption come from renewable energies, and as such citizens should be aware of the benefits of renewable energies to make a change.  Spain has an ideal climate to take advantage of solar energy in its three variants: photovoltaic, which produces electricity, thermal, used for DHW, cooking and heating and thermoelectric, which generates energy and heat. Thermoelectric energy is used more for industrial uses.
 
For our country, which is not self-sufficient in terms of energy, having our own energy resources (such as solar energy) is even strategic in the sense that it will reduce the necessity to import fossil fuels, such as petroleum or gas.
 
At the individual or community level, installing solar panels on the roof results in a series of advantages which are not only economic, but also in terms of maintenance and security.  The panels are trustworthy and long-lasting: they have 25-year warranty and a useful life of 35 years, so long as they are maintained adequately. In addition, they don't produce waste, residues, fumes or bad odours in dwellings or community spaces. On the other hand, they are practically invisible, and as such do not affect the aesthetics of the building façade or private dwelling.
 
Acquiring energy independence results in undeniable economic savings and, from an ecological point of view, a savings in contaminating emissions for the environment. There are experts who assure that renewable resources, including solar energy, can substitute non-renewables in Spain.
 
 
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