Sooner or later natural resources will be irrevocably depleted and yet energy consumption in our latitudes continues to rise. The time has come to switch to renewable energies!
Although we at NIKIN are mainly concerned with sustainable materials in the fashion industry and fight against global deforestation, it is important to think sustainably in other areas of life as well. We not only want to reach our customers, but also motivate people to rethink their lifestyles and possibly make them more sustainable. There is no getting around thinking about alternative energy sources and thus relieving the burden on the planet.
What are "renewable energies"?
All energies that can be renewed by definition, i.e. that do not originate from finite sources, are sustainable. Of course, there are quite a few of them. Hydropower has been at the start for a long time. Especially at dams, the natural power of water is converted into electricity.
Other renewable energies from nature are:
- Solar energy: usable with the help of corresponding solar cells and connected batteries, solar energy can be used directly (e.g. for heating water in your own home) or stored or fed into the network. There is an abundance of models!
- Wind energy: wind turbines generate energy, similar to the use of hydroelectric power.
- Geothermal heat: the natural heat in deeper layers of the earth's mantle makes use of this process.
- Biogas: the "exhaust air" from farm animals produces methane gas, which is a renewable energy source in the form of so-called biogas. Those who spend a longer time in a cowshed understand why...
Conventional energy sources and why they are so harmful
Renewable energy sources are therefore abundant on our planet. Unfortunately, they are still used relatively little. The majority of the demand is covered by so-called fossil fuels, including coal, oil and natural gas. At least some states cover a further part with nuclear power.
Fossil fuels all originated in Palaeozoic times through the decay of organic materials and have acquired their characteristic properties over millions of years of compression in deeper soil layers. They were gradually discovered as fuels during the industrial revolution and the advent of the steam engine.
Heavy consumption has its price – because fossil fuels are LIMITED. Even the most extensive oil fields will be "empty" – and very soon. For a global economy that would be unthinkable without fossil fuels, the outlook is dark. In addition, fossil fuels are being burned. This releases pollutants that have a considerable impact on the global climate. Almost irreversible. The constant ignition with gas, oil and coal also does not contribute to the quality of life. Who already came into the benefit of longer traffic jams in a densely frequented city center, the experience may make that one feels often still for days "beside the trace" by the longer inhalation of the exhaust gases. Fossil fuels are therefore all harmful. Nevertheless, industry, business and politics still cling to these energy sources in many areas.
What are the advantages of renewable energy?
But renewable energies are the future – not only are they not finite, they are much cleaner. Although sustainable energies also have their disadvantages, they are much less so than conventional fossil fuels.
A rethink is slowly getting underway – much too slowly in the opinion of the advocates. Nevertheless, the use of renewable energies is being supported and subsidised. Cities and municipalities are becoming "green" either for sub-projects or entirely – for example through the nationwide use of solar energy or geothermal energy. But end consumers can also use renewable energies. The simplest way to use the power of the sun is to use smaller, portable solar cells. Outdoor lighting, water heaters and even smaller batteries can be powered by solar energy. This works in a house, but also in an apartment. The use of such "island solutions" is ideal for more remote, possibly isolated buildings and systems. Thus one saves the laborious and expensive connection to the electricity mains.
In fact, most consumers use solar energy in one form or another, be it for hot water for showers or with a practical little "solar pad" for camping and leisure, to recharge their mobile phones. Renewable energies have long ceased to be the exclusive domain of do-gooders, but have been part of everyday life for years. And they will play a far greater role in the future!
Participating is not so difficult at all
Anyone interested in the possibility of making greater or complete use of renewable energies, whether in companies or at home, will find an appropriate advice centre not only in Switzerland, but in most municipalities in almost all of Europe. Here you can find out about technically possible solutions as well as about competent specialist companies in the vicinity, but also about the available state subsidies.