Two Alternative & Renewable Energy Sources

Wind Solar Energy

Two Alternative & Renewable Energy Sources

As the world consumes and produces more energy we must cut back our us fossil fuels, and begin using alternative energy to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels

Currently we have 4 sources of renewable and alternative energy that we are able to produce: wind generation, solar energy, hydro power, and geothermal energy. Here we will discuss the most common two.

Wind Power

Wind as a source of power has been around for ages. Previous generations used wind in many different ways like, pump water, sailing ships, flour mils, saw mills and more. but at the start of the industrial and economic revolution, wind mills have improved and wind turbines were developed to supply electricity.

Lots of us learned about the old windmills in The Netherlands which were used to pump water or mill grain. The technology has improved developed hugely since the past decade. In this day and age wind turbines manage to generate thousands of megawatts of power, and once used on small scale projects, wind generation to create power will substitute standard energy sources, contributing to many households to get off the grid.

Solar Energy

Solar is the one of the most abundant form of energy available, we really should harness this great energy resource. We can use it on a large scale or a small scale. Technology is constantly improving and becoming more affordable. Households have many choices in regards Solar Energy. It can generate electricity, heat, be used for cooking etc.

Both electricity and heating systems powered by the sun are cost-effective, great for the environment and planet. Solar Installations require hardly any maintenance and after the initial investment have no running cost saving you on bills. Solar cookers are a great way of cooking food. They are affordable, portable and easy to use. It is a great solution used in many African countries where one has no power available.

Countries close to achieving 100% renewable energy

With advances and investments in renewable energy made every day, some countries have become almost non reliant on fossil fuels (except cars, planes etc).

Costa Rica

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) said that around 98.1 per cent of the country’s electricity came from green sources. consisting of a combination of geothermal, hydro electric, wind turbines, solar panels and biomass.


Due to Iceland’s geology they can cover most if not all their energy needs from Renewable Sources. Almost 100 percent of electricity production is covered by Renewable Energy, with about 75 percent coming from hydro power and 25 percent from geothermal power. Geothermal power is also used for heating homes and buildings


Bonaire is a small country of the Venezuelan coast. It used to rely on diesel generators to provide electricity to its population and tourist. That all changed in 2004 when their main diesel generator burned down. The country now is now almost achieving 100% renewable energy. In peak times wind energy can provide 90% of the electricity needs of the small Island, they are backed up by Biodiesel Generators. The biodiesel. They plan to produce biodiesel from the abundance of algae.


The small mountainous country which is enclosed by South Africa achieves close to 100% of their electricity requirements through the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. This project was established to provide water to South Africa, with the added benefit to cover almost all of Lesotho’s electricity needs.


Paraquay has one of the world’s largest dams (Itaipu dam), Which provides almost 90% of Paraguay’s electricity and about 20% of Brazil’s electricity requirements.

With future developments and decreasing prices, we will see more countries improving their percentage of renewable energy. Countries like Germany, Denmark and Spain are investing heavily in Renewable Energy

Sustainable Energy Sources Compared

Sustainable Energy does not always equal to Renewable Energy, but Renewable Energy is a Sustainable Energy Source.

What are the different forms of sustainable energy and how do they compare? Sustainable Energy is a good alternative to fossil available today. New sources of Sustainable Energy Sources are being developed for the future. How reliable are the different forms of Sustainable Energy Resources and will they be sustainable in the future to form part of the energy mix? Below we will discus the different forms of Sustainable Energy and their advantages.

Solar Power

Solar power is generated through photo voltaic (PV) solar panels. Solar panels convert the sunlight into electricity. It is a viable solution in many countries and Solar Power systems are currently installed in many countries. New technology makes the the solar panels more effective than older systems. Currently about 16% of the sunlight gets converted into electricity. With new developments this should greatly improve and they will become more affordable. The improvement in efficiency and lowered costs means that solar power will play a greater part in our energy mix. There are alos some interesting installations where Solar Power is installed on top of parking bays. Not only creates this energy, but it keeps the cars parked underneat protected from heat and other elements.

Solar Heating

Solar Heating is the conversion of sunlight into renewable energy for water heating using a solar thermal collector, or used to cook food with a solar oven. Solar heating is a cost effective method to save electricity. When you invest in Solar Heating you will use less electricity and you can get away with a smaller Solar Power (PV) System. Solar heating can also be used to heat up pools.

A solar oven uses the power of the sun to cook food. By directing the sunlight into a solar oven you can raise the temperature of a box (Solar Oven) in order to make the temperature high enough to cook food. This is very sustainable solution in areas where there is little access to other energy resources like in many parts of Africa.

Solar Tubes & Skylights

Many houses have areas like passages which have not enough windows and tend to be dark. Instead of switching on a light why not install skylight or Solar tube to bring natural daylight into your dark room or passage. Some Solar Tubes have a natural ventilation system installed as well, which is great for areas like a bathroom with no windows.

As you can see there are many ways we can harness the energy of the sun.

Wind Power

Wind power has been harnessed for centurions, in the form of commercial shipping, windmills to mill grain and pump water. Nowadays wind power is being used to generate electricity through wind turbines and to pump water with wind pumps. Wind energy is one of the fastest growing sources of electricity in the world and it’s not hard to see why. Wind energy does not pollute or contaminate the surrounding area on which they are built. One wind turbine is capable of generating power for over 500 households. The only environmental impact is the dead of birds caught in a wind turbine and the visual pollution.

Hydro power

Hydro power is energy that is generated by the movement of water. Energy gets generated through water falling or flowing down a river and channeling it through a turbine.

Flowing water was used in ancient water mills to power various machines, from saws to cranes, mills, lifts and more.

Most hydro power requires the building of Dams & Reservoirs they can have an adverse affect on the environment and displace many people. A lot of research into the environmental impact has to happen before one can go ahead and built a dam.

One lesser know Hydro Power source is energy produced from the movement of ocean waters, through tidal, waves and others. This is often refereed to as marine power.

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is generated by using or drilling into the thermal energy or heat generated at the Earth’s core. This energy can easily be harvested at tectonic plates and by drilling deep into the ground, then pumping in a heat transfer fluid such as water or steam.

Some countries using geothermal energy are New Zealand, Iceland, China, Japan, United States, Italy, Turkey, France & China.

The largest solar plant in the world to be switched on.

As reported by the guardian

Morocco’s king will switch on the first phase of a concentrated solar power plant on Thursday that will become the world’s largest when completed.

The power station on the edge of the Saharan desert will be the size of the country’s capital city by the time it is finished in 2018, and provide electricity for 1.1 million people.

Noor 1, the first section at the town of Ouarzazate, provides 160 megawatts (MW) of the ultimate 580MW capacity, helping Morocco to save hundreds of thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

Article Source : The Guardian

What is a CSP or concentrated solar power?

CSP is used to produce electricity (sometimes called solar thermoelectricity, usually generated through steam). Concentrated-solar technology systems use mirrors or lenses with tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight onto a small area. The concentrated light is then used as heat or as a heat source for a conventional power plant (solar thermoelectricity). The solar concentrators used in CSP systems can often also be used to provide industrial process heating or cooling, such as in solar air-conditioning.

Concentrating technologies exist in five common forms, namely parabolic trough, enclosed trough, dish Stirlings, concentrating linear Fresnel reflector, and solar power tower.[15] Although simple, these solar concentrators are quite far from the theoretical maximum concentration.[16][17] For example, the parabolic-trough concentration gives about 1/3 of the theoretical maximum for the design acceptance angle, that is, for the same overall tolerances for the system. Approaching the theoretical maximum may be achieved by using more elaborate concentrators based on nonimaging optics.[18]

Different types of concentrators produce different peak temperatures and correspondingly varying thermodynamic efficiencies, due to differences in the way that they track the sun and focus light. New innovations in CSP technology are leading systems to become more and more cost-effective.

Commercial applications of Concentrated Solar Power

CSP is being widely commercialized and the CSP market has seen about 740 megawatt (MW) of generating capacity added between 2007 and the end of 2010. More than half of this (about 478 MW) was installed during 2010, bringing the global total to 1095 MW. Spain added 400 MW in 2010, taking the global lead with a total of 632 MW, while the US ended the year with 509 MW after adding 78 MW, including two fossil–CSP hybrid plants.[4] The Middle East is also ramping up their plans to install CSP based projects and as a part of that Plan, Shams-I which was the largest CSP Project in the world has been installed in Abu Dhabi, by Masdar. The largest CSP project in the world until January 2016 is Noor in Morocco.

There is considerable academic and commercial interest internationally in a new form of CSP, called STEM, for off-grid applications to produce 24 hour industrial scale power for mining sites and remote communities in Italy, other parts of Europe, Australia, Asia, North Africa and Latin America. STEM uses fluidized silica sand as a thermal storage and heat transfer medium for CSP systems. It has been developed by Salerno-based Magaldi Industries. The first commercial application of STEM will take place in Sicily from 2015.

CSP growth is expected to continue at a fast pace. As of January 2014, Spain had a total capacity of 2,300 MW making this country the world leader in CSP. Interest is also notable in North Africa and the Middle East, as well as India and China. The global market has been dominated by parabolic-trough plants, which account for 90% of CSP plants.

Need finance for green energy solutions ?

Not many South Africans have the cash available to invest in green and renewable energy. The fact is a considerable outlay can be required depending on the solution. It can be difficult to obtain finance through normal channels.

Here is where comes into play. GreenFin provides alternative payment solutions to those individuals who realise the need to change to green energy sooner rather than later. GreenFin assists you with the finance and expertise through our trusted partners to switch over to green and renewable energy solutions now. The sooner one invests in green or renewable energy solutions, the sooner one starts to reap the benefits. Because Greenfin has partnered with trusted and experienced suppliers and installers you will be certain to know that you invest in a quality solution.

With GreenFin´s quick and easy finance application process, you could have your energy solution installed in no time with no down payment required. GreenFin offers an simple application process, flexible repayment terms and very competitive interest rates.

Greenfin can structure your monthly installment to be the same or even less than your current electricity bill!. Don’t delay and contact now.

Solar Heating For Pools

If you have a heat exchange heated pool, you know that this heated pool is a sizable amount on your electricity bill. Maybe it is time to consider solar heating. Solar heating will have a positive effect on you bank account.

Solar heating systems for pools.

When most people think of solar energy, they normally associate this with large photo voltaic structures that convert sun rays into electricity. However, the sun can also be used for heating pools and geysers. By using solar heating to heat your swimming pool, you can be sure that your morning swim will be comfortable and easy on the pocket.

How to make solar heating for your pool more effective

In most areas the temperature at night will cool down, thereby cooling the pool slightly. A good investment will be a pool cover, this will retain your heat and keeps your pool cleaner. (More time for you to enjoy your heated pool.)

Pool solar panels are normally installed on the roof to capture the most of the sun. The black solar panels consist of tiny tubes. The pool water while pumped through these panels will collect heat which is transfer ed to the pool water.

The use of solar heating heating pools is a time tested technology. You will probably know many pool owners who use the sun to heat their pool. The initial investment has a fast payback time due to saving in electricity use.

So in short, a solar heated pool is a great economical and eco-friendly investment, you will be the envy of your friends with your heated pools.

Solar energy technology road maps

The department of energy is busy developing a solar energy technology road maps.

The South African Solar Energy Technology Road Map (SETRM) is being developed to provide a comprehensive, aligned, achievable and time bound strategic plan that will help guide: policy and regulatory development, industrial strategy and related investment, education and skills programme development, innovation, research and development; and the overall diffusion of solar technologies in the country, and given the country’s significant regional impact, in the broader Southern Africa region.

The objectives of the Solar energy technology road maps are:

To develop a clear, comprehensive, and prioritized implementation plan (i.e. roadmap) for the development and diffusion of concentrated solar power; solar photovoltaic technology (ies); solar heating and cooling technologies; and related R & D in South Africa toward reduced energy use, carbon emissions reduction; distributed electricity generation, expanded independent power production and electricity supply to the national grid, and the reduction of reliance on carbon fuels.

Read more about the solar energy technology road maps on the department of energies website.

US invests R5.4bn in SA solar power

US government development bank, Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC), will invest up to R5.4 billion ($400 million) in a solar thermal plant in SA.
The 100MW Redstone solar project, developed by California-based SolarReserve and Saudi Arabian electricity producer ACWA Power, will be situated in the Northern Cape and provide electricity to over 200 000 homes during peak demand once complete.
“In itself, [the project is] not that big,” considering SA has a peak power demand of approximately 35 000MW, says Chris Yelland, energy analyst and MD of EE Publishers.

Yet small-scale renewable energy projects are relatively quick to deploy, and a large number of small energy projects affords SA’s energy sphere more flexibility and less risk than relying mostly on large-scale plants, which often take longer than expected to develop, pose greater risk to SA’s power grid if they encounter complications, and are too expensive for private investors to finance, Yelland continues.

Source :

Solar Energy or Wind Energy

Solar Energy or Wind Energy which is the best? This really depends on your location. Sometimes solar energy is the best solution and sometimes wind energy is the best solution. At certain locations both will be an excellent solution to your energy and electricity needs.

Solar Energy

The sun which produces solar energy through several means like solar heating, photo voltaic which produces electricity and solar cooking. The sun rays can be used in many ways and are probably one of the most available and reliable sources of solar energy. There is not a single place on earth which would not receive at least some sun (which means solar energy a day). Solar energy can be implemented on a big scale or a small scale. It is easy for households to produce solar energy by installing solar heating or installing solar panels.

Of course in certain places in the world solar energy is more abundant then other places, but this did not stop Germany to become one of the leading countries in solar energy. Germany is not the most favorable country to produce solar energy but they are leading the world. Talk about defying the odds.

Wind Energy

Unless Solar Energy, wind energy is less viable. Wind Energy is mainly available at coastal areas, but it can be available 24 hours a day. Solar energy is not available 24 hours a day. Wind energy is also more difficult to implement on a smaller scale as it will require construction of huge structures. But there are countries which have successfully implemented wind power or wind energy. One of those countries is Denmark Wind Energy vs Solar Energy which even managed to produce more wind energy in one day as what was required.

Conclusion Solar Energy vs Wind Energy

Solar Energy & Wind Energy can both be very viable and can complement each other to power our earth now and in the future

Facts & History of Solar Power

Interested in solar power? How about some facts and history of solar power.

  • Horace Bénédict de Saussure (1740-1799), a Swiss physicist, geologist, and early Alpine explorer was the inventor of the hotbox which later was succesfully used by British astronomer John Herschel to cook food while on expedition in Africa.
  • The well known and respected Albert Einstein received a Nobel Prize in 1921 for his experiments on photo voltaic and solar power.
  • In 1958 Solar power was used to power space exploration equipment such as satellites and space stations. This is probably the first know commercial use of solar energy.
  • In 1981, the first solar powered aircraft was produced by Paul Macready. The aircraft successfully managed to fly from France to England.
  • Germany is major solar power producer despite its less than favorable climate. The energy generated during sunny days is stored in batteries.
  • Energy from the sun travels for approximately 8 minutes to reach Earth.
  • We can produce the same amount of electricity from 1 ton of sand (siliconis used in the production of photo voltaic cells) as burning 500 ton of coal.
  • In 1982, the first large scale power plants was opened in California.

Facts & History of Solar Power