Energy technologies

Current energy technologies are almost entirely dependent on the burning of fossil fuels in the form of coal, gas and oil. As global demand for these fossil fuels soars and supply reduces, we need to find alternative ways of generating the electricity and the heat that we need. This is made even more acute by the need to radically reduce the emission of the gases that cause global warming.

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Biochar is a carbon-rich product, created by the slow burning of plant material with little or no oxygen.

Biomass boilers

Wood heating systems – technically known as biomass systems – burn organic materials, typically wood pellets, chips or logs, in a boiler or stove to provide heat and hot water.

Combined heat and power

‘Micro-CHP’ stands for micro combined heat and power. This technology generates heat and electricity simultaneously, from the same energy source, in individual homes or buildings.

Energy storage

Energy storage is accomplished by devices or physical media that store energy to perform useful work at a later time. In permaculture energy storage is defined broadly to include batteries but also water e.g.

Fuels from waste

Waste from fuel meets many permaculture principles including catch and store energy, obtain a yield and produce no waste.

There are a number of ways of producing fuel from waste, including:


Geothermal Heat pumps are energy efficient heating systems that utilize heat from the ground, rock, air or water where solar energy is stored.

The most common types of heat pumps used in the UK include:

Insulation and conservation

The energy we consume in our homes makes up about 25% of UK CO2 emissions. A lot of this is energy is wasted, and insulation is one way to help avoid many tonnes of carbon emissions.


Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems allow the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity.

Small-scale hydro

Micro-hydro schemes generate renewable electricity from streams and small rivers. The power can be used to generate electricity, or to drive machinery.

Solar hot water

Solar water heating systems use free energy from the sun to heat domestic hot water.


Hurricanes and cyclones can destroy buildings.

Wood stoves

A wood burning stove is a closed heating appliance which is capable of burning wood fuel.