What is renewable energy?
Renewable energy comes from a natural process, which is constantly being replenished, it will never run out, unlike energy generated from fossil fuels, which take millions of years to form, coal, oil and natural gas are finite resources that will eventually dwindle, becoming too expensive or environmentally damaging to retrieve.
Different types of renewable energy
Sunlight or solar energy can be used directly for heating and lighting, for generating electricity and also for heating hot water.
The sun heats the earth which creates wind, wind turbines use the wind's lift forces to turn aerodynamic blades that turn a rotor which creates electricity.
Heat pumps extract available heat energy from a source and release it in another location at a higher temperature, they take heat from the ground, the air or from water. Heat pumps need electricity to run but they use less electrical energy than the heat energy they produce.
Is there any financial assistance available?
The Renewable Heat Incentive is available for technologies which produce heat rather than electricity, ie biomass boilers, biomass pellet stoves with integrated boiler, air and ground source heat pumps, solar thermal panels. There are two types of schemes which support domestic and non-domestic installations.