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Where our energy comes from

1 November 2016 | News

If you’re concerned about your energy bills, you’ll have already switched to Fairerpower. But if you’re also concerned about global warming, there’s good news: the energy we provide is amongst the cleanest available!

Our energy partner OVO, focuses on serving customers rather than generating its own power – so they buy their gas and electricity on the energy market from different generators, and can make sure the balance between clean energy and good value is ideal. They call this ‘mainstream green’, and over the last couple of years it’s meant focusing on providing electricity sourced from natural gas instead of coal.

Currently OVO’s electricity is 84.6% from natural gas and 15.4% from renewable sources; although all new customers will get at least 33% renewable power.

In short, removing coal from their ‘fuel mix’ has cut carbon emissions substantially – 34% lower in fact, at just 321g of CO2 per kWh. According to their figures, that equates to 296,000 tonnes of CO2, or the same as taking about 62,000* cars off the road!

But what about renewable energy? In OVO’s case, 79% comes from wind farms (on and offshore), 11% from solar and 10% from landfill gas – but there are many other sources available in the UK, some of which will come to the fore as new developments are introduced.

So in future, as a Fairerpower customer you might well find a lot of your energy comes from one of these sources:

Wind – a potentially infinite source of energy, wind turbines (like a modern windmill) generates power as the wind turns the blades. Usually found in groups or ‘farms’ on exposed hills or offshore.

Solar – the energy from sunlight is captured in solar panels and converted into electricity. In the UK these are commonly found on domestic roofs, although in sunnier spots they can be grouped together to become a solar farm.

Geothermal – uses the natural heat of the earth, although only really feasible for large scale energy production in volcanic region s such as New Zealand and Iceland.

Wave and tidal – wave power comes from the movement of seawater in and out of a cavity on the shore that compresses trapped air to drive a turbine, while tidal energy comes from the movement of tides driving turbines via a tidal barrage. Both are ideal for the UK, but so far have proved costly.

Hydro-electricity – the energy is harnessed from the movement of water through rivers, lakes and dams. Common in areas such as Scotland and Wales, where the landscape lends itself to significant water flows.

Biomass – the energy comes from decaying plant or animal waste, or an organic material that can be burned – a prime example is oilseed rape, which produces oil that can be treated to be used in diesel engines. Other examples include wood pellets made from compacted sawdust.

Landfill gas/sewage treatment plant gas or biogas – produced by the decomposition of organic substances in landfill or sewage, this can be up to 55% methane – ideal for use as a renewable fuel source to power generators.

 

*http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html#results

 

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