A quick primer about renewable and sustainable  energy and its sources

Green energy comes from a number of renewable and sustainable sources: Water, Sun, Wind and Organic. We stipulate that our green energy suppliers provide 100% of your energy supply from renewable and sustainable, i.e. ‘green’ sources.

Hydro
Hydro-electricity means taking the force of free-falling water and converting it into power. Some of our energy supplies come from small hydro-electric schemes in Scotland, Dorset and Cornwall. For example, the Highlands farmer taking advantage of a river running through his family farm by creating electricity from it. He has installed a micro hydro-generator and is selling his surplus electricity.

Hydro-electric. We’re all familiar with the concept of hydro-electric dams where large volumes of flowing water driving turbines, produce electricity.

Wave and Tidal power are less common than hydro-electric and are gathering pace. These very clever devices capture energy from large volumes of water, mostly the sea.

Solar
Unlimited energy from 93m miles away.
Solar or photovoltaic cells takes the light from the sun and converts it into power. ‘Solar thermal systems’ take heat from the sun and use it to heat water in our homes.

Wind Power
Not our favorite element but we are not using it as much as we could. Our suppliers use the almost constant force of the wind to drive wind turbines, which in turn create electricity for immediate use or storage or later.

Biomass and Biofuels
Biomass-derived energy is produced from organic material such as wood, plants, food and animal waste. This is collected directly from planting and harvesting, industrial and agricultural waste, and even food/gardening waste from your own home.

Anaerobic digestion
This is the process where microorganisms break down organic material in the absence of any oxygen to produce a methane and carbon dioxide-rich biogas. This can be burnt to produce energy, with none of the traditional harmful effects of fossil fuels. And what’s more, the nutrient-rich solids left after digestion can be handily used as a fertilizer. For example, one farm in Scotland has solved the problem of what to do with their pig manure – turn it into electricity! Pig slurry is fed into an anaerobic digester and the gas released is captured and burnt to generate electricity. The fertilizer produced as a by-product is used to feed the crops which are then fed to the pigs the following year.