The cost of energy is rising at an alarming rate and the current infrastructure is costly, inefficient & damaging to the environment.
Efforts to change this are being made in the form of renewable energy incentives but not always in the most beneficial way or in the time frame agreed upon at various climate change summits.
Solar power is being pushed by many governments but the incentives keep changing to the detriment of the consumers and there are many areas of the planet that do not benefit from enough sunshine to make them an option. Many wind farm projects have been realised but these are dependant on a healthy supply of wind to stop them just being a blight on the landscape.
Many people here in rural France have enough spare land to embrace alternative ground breaking solutions to the energy crisis.
- The introduction of plantations of rapid growing coppiced hardwood trees would help in the fight against global warming.
- Turning these plantations into wood chip to provide heating, hot water and heat energy is a carbon neutral solution.
- Technology is available to produce electricity from this heat energy.
- Organic Rankine Cycle
- Stirling Engine – Old idea but still emerging technology
‘Organic Rankine Cycle’
The Rankine Cycle is that used by most power generation systems but in its basic form requires high temperatures and high pressures to work.
Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) uses alternative resources to water/steam (such as refrigerant gasses) which require lower temperatures and pressures to achieve the required results. This technology permits small scale systems to become viable alternative energy producers at a local level.
The Stirling engine has been around since 1812 but it is only recently that the need for alternate energy sources has sparked renewed interest and research into producing efficient, viable models for small scale electricity production.
Watch this space!