Types of green energy
It’s generated in weird and wonderful ways. It’s fun to sell; that makes us happy.
A solar cell (or a 'photovoltaic cell' to you scientists out there) 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.
Biomass is produced from organic material – that's wood, plants and animal waste
to you and me. We get this either directly from plants, or from waste products from
industry, agriculture or your very own home!
Does what it says on the tin. Our suppliers use the force of the wind to drive turbines, which in turn make electricity.
Anaerobic digestion – a process where microorganisms break down organic material
without any oxygen – produces a methane- and carbon dioxide-rich biogas. This can
be burnt to produce energy, with none of the harmful effects of fossil fuels. And
what's more, the nutrient-rich solids left after digestion can be handily used
as a fertiliser!
Combined heat and power (CHP) is the simultaneous generation of heat and power (usually
electricity) in a single process. In a standard power plant a huge amount of energy
is lost as waste heat. CHP plants harness this 'waste' heat for a useful purpose
(heating a block of flats for example). As a result CHP plants can be up to 95%
efficient, almost twice as efficient as gas or coal fired power stations. The CHP
process is therefore both green and Climate Change Levy exempt.
Hydro-electricity means taking the force of free-falling water and converting it
into power. Some of our energy comes from small hydro-electric schemes in Scotland,
Dorset and Cornwall.