Electricity produced by a stand-alone system within, or linked to, a building is called 'embedded' energy generation. By far the most convenient form of renewable energy system which can be linked to housing is photovoltaic cells. As unit costs fall PV arrays attached to individual houses will become increasingly evident. In several countries there are substantial state subsidies to kick-start the PV industry so that costs can quickly fall due to the economy of scale. One of the pioneer examples of a domestic application in the UK is the Autonomous House by Robert and Brenda Vale in Southwell, Nottinghamshire (Figure 7.1).
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Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.