A study by David Oliver, an engineering student at Dalhousie University, shows that renewable energy, if used properly, can have similar costs, or even lower, to traditional energy.

The study, conducted under the supervision of Prof. Dominic Groulx of the Mechanical Engineering Department of Dalhousie University, has focused on the use of geothermal heat pumps and solar collectors for heating of housing and obtaining hot water, and wind turbines and solar photovoltaic panels for generating electricity. The annual cost of installation of these four technologies were compared to the cost of conventional systems.

The study has shown that an isolated house, use a heat pump will save between 1,000 and 1,800 Canadian dollars (CAD) per year and the installation costs for itself in less than 10 years, while solar are more expensive (245 CAD per year) than the traditional power grid. However, if the pump is used by several housing estates, the savings are not possible given the large amount of the installation of a piping hot water.

Regarding wind energy and voltaic cells, they are not competitive when used in a single household. By cons, if the turbine provides several houses with electricity, its use becomes interesting. If the turbines deliver 385 kW, production costs are similar to those of power grids. But if they produce more than one megawatt, people can save hundreds of dollars per year.

While it will still need to be connected to the traditional electric (if the wind does not blow, for example), this study shows that adopting green technology adapted saves while reducing its carbon footprint.

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