What's the greenest way to heat my home?

12 March 2019


Wind farm surrounded by grass



What is the greenest way to power and heat my home?


Chris Smith was joined by chemist Ljiljana Fruk from Cambridge Univeristy who took on this green question from Katy.

Ljiljana - It's an interesting question. Well definitely something that is very interesting that I also talk to some of the architect friends of mine, is geothermal energy. But of course this would require installing special pumps. So if you are willing to do this it’s basically using the thermal energy of the Earth to heat up your home. The other ways are of course solar energy which is interesting but then again in the production of the solar panels we are investing lots of energy in making these materials and making them cleaner. So it's then a question of processes that are maybe not so green that are going into the production. Natural gas seems to be still okay. And of course it depends on the quality of the gas and so this can also be used. But I would go for a geothermal energy if I had a choice of you know designing my own home.

Sam - I was reading a recent article that actually suggested wind power might be a lot worse for the environment than we thought because the turbines are so large they end up mixing different layers of the atmosphere and actually leading to driving processes that cause global warming. So I think this idea of having different levels of cleanliness of what we think of as renewable or clean energy is really interesting. So you think geothermal is the best?

Ljiljana - Yes. So I mean I think the problem is really that we need to take the whole process into consideration that is not only enough to say ok, this is something which is done which is seemingly renewable, but you have to calculate and look at the whole process. So I would go for a geothermal energy for now.


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