PacB Group // Renewable Energy is Not Just Topical, it is Actually Vital


Renewable Energy is Not Just Topical, it is Actually Vital

The writing is on the wall. The days in which we were free to squander the earth’s finite deposits of fossil fuels and other resources in order to propel our vehicles, to manufacture plastics, and to generate electricity are long over, even if the reality is not yet being acknowledged by the oil companies whose future profits could evaporate if the demand for their products were to wane.

Though frequently dismissed as doomsayers, scientists worldwide continue to claim that we are fast approaching a tipping point beyond which the planet will be unable to recover, even with a concerted effort by mankind. Where renewable energy was once just a fascinating discussion topic, it is now the only known option with which to reverse the increasingly obvious signs of climate change – an inconvenient truth that oil barons and presidents are choosing to ignore.

Ironically, the developed countries like to lay the blame for the imbalance at the doorsteps of developing countries where the burning of wood and coal are a major source of local pollution. Meanwhile, worldwide enterprises based in first-world countries are systematically decimating the rain forests that are the planet’s green lungs, and are located in the backyards of the very people they blame. What is clear is that the time for renewable energy is now, and slowly but surely, some of the world’s politicians are waking up to the fact that the time remaining for effective action is decreasing with each passing day.

That said, there have been some encouraging inroads in the quest for a greener power source. Although the use of biofuels protects dwindling oil reserves and offers a cleaner burning alternative, the only truly effective remedy is to aim for zero emissions. While hydroelectric power offers this possibility, the distribution of suitable rivers makes this impractical as a global solution. Much the same can be said of projects to generate electricity from waves and tidal motion. In practice, it is technologies, such as wind and solar power that hold the greatest promise of renewable energy and, with it, the prospect of salvation for a world population that is already beginning to choke on its own waste products.

Wind farms have been around for quite a while, but in nothing near the sort of numbers needed to meet the worldwide demand for electricity. If we are to discontinue the use of fossil fuels, electric vehicles will become essential and, with the transition, an efficient source of renewable energy to power them is going to be essential. The best candidate to date is solar power, which has already been adapted for this purpose, and has even been used to enable a lightweight aircraft to successfully circumnavigate the earth. While much work still needs to be done to make photovoltaic technology sufficiently powerful to handle such applications safely and efficiently, its use is well-established in other fields.

Vast solar farms are already being used to supplement the output from conventional power stations, and may even have the capacity to replace them in the future. However, the more significant benefits of this form of renewable energy are to be seen in homes and offices, and on the streets of cities in many countries, including South Africa. Currently, most installations consist of arrays of solar panels mounted on the rooftops of suburban homes and small businesses and sometimes on the green areas that frequently adorn modern office parks. While it is true that their manufacture carries a significant carbon footprint, the benefit of zero-emission is adequate compensation.

The photovoltaic effect uses doped semiconductors, but progress is already being made in the development of more eco-friendly alternatives, including a photovoltaic coating that can be printed on any surface, such as windows and walls. While awaiting these, South Africans can continue to rely on PacB Group for practical, renewable energy solutions.

Our qualified technicians offer support and advice in the selection of the right power solution for your needs by calculating your power requirements.

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