About Introducing Renewable Energy

Introducing Renewable Energy is all about renewable energy, and specifically the renewable energy technology for generating electricity. It is designed to give the reader a view of what renewable energy is, how it works and what it can be used for.

Although the book focuses on small scale renewable energy systems, it also covers larger scale systems at a high level. So if you are interested in finding out about energy production in general, about wind farms, or wish to gain some insight into the emerging tidal energy technology, this book will give you an understanding of what is possible with renewable energy, both now and in the near future.

The book includes step-by-step instructions for two small off-grid projects: a simple solar installation and a basic wind turbine configuration. However, it is not intended as a detailed ‘how to’ guide for installing all types of renewable energy system. Renewable energy is a big subject and if you have loftier ambitions than generating a small amount of electricity for your own personal use, it is not possible to pack all the information that you are likely to need into a single book. Instead, read this as an introductory guide on the subject that will give you enough grounding for you to extend your knowledge with more specialised information later on.

Whilst I am a professional renewable energy engineer, I have written this book for the enthusiastic amateur and for university and college students who want an easy-to-follow introduction to the subject. It’s also an introduction for people who are interested in finding out whether they can install their own industrial scale solar or wind farm and wanting to get some basic understanding of what is involved before they call in the professionals.

Once you have read Introducing Renewable Energy, you will have a clear understanding of the different options that exist for small renewable energy projects. If you have a project in mind, it will give you enough information for you to decide what type of renewable energy system is right for you and if all you want is a simple renewable system for generating some of your own personal off-grid energy, it will give you the knowledge to put together a simple system yourself.

Who is this book for?


Higher Education student

Click above if you are a student studying Renewable Energy or a related subject.

Land Owner, Farmer or Investor

Land Owner or Investor

Click above if you are looking at Renewable Energy options as an investment opportunity.

Home Owner

Home Owner

Click above if you are a home owner considering Renewable Energy to generate your own power.

DIY Enthusiast

DIY Projects

Click above if you are interested in building your own Renewable Energy system, either from scratch or using bought-in components.

Off-Grid Power

Off-Grid Power

Click above if you are looking for Renewable Energy to provide electricity where there is no power available.

Architect or Designer

Architect or Designer

Click above if you are an architect or designer looking to integrate Renewable Energy into your projects.

Considering a career in Renewable Energy?

Considering a Career?

Click above if you are considering a career in Renewable Energy.

About the Author

1kW micro wind turbine

Paul Matthews originally trained and worked as an electronics engineer. Deciding on a career change, he retrained as a technician installing small scale wind turbines in late 2006. Horrified by the poor performance of many of the systems he was asked to install, he went back to University and emerged with a degree in Energy Engineering. A spell in India followed, working on a new wind farm and hydro-power station near Bangalore. During this time he also designed a small household solar energy system for Indian homes to supplement unreliable grid electricity, replacing generators and kerosene lamps with a greener alternative.

Inspired by the potential for small scale renewable systems, Paul returned to the UK to work on smaller energy systems. He designed a solar energy system designed to provide remote African communities with electricity, worked with a team designing a hydro-electric system that could be installed on a weir and contributed to the design of a small tidal energy system that will be undertaking trials off the coast of Scotland in 2015 and 2016.

Today, Paul is working on an off-shore wind project in Sweden and consulting with a charity installing solar in remote African villages. He divides his time between Sweden and his home in England where he lives with his wife and two children.

About the proceeds from this book

The author royalties from this book will be donated to a new fund to design and create a low cost solar energy system for homes in third world countries. Over the course of the next two years, Paul Matthews will be working on a new, low cost solar energy system for homes in third world countries. The entire unit will be around the size of a small laptop computer and provide sufficient energy to provide lighting for an entire home, USB charging facilities for mobile phones and other small gadgets, plus a small home radio for entertainment. The target price is $10 per household.

For many families, indeed many villages, this will be the first time they will ever have had access to electricity and the empowerment that this brings. It’s a first step towards the road of electrification, working with community-wide projects to provide energy for refrigeration to store medicines and lighting for schools and community areas.

Access to electricity can save lives, provide information from the outside world, assist in education and begin to make a real difference to the lives of some of the world’s poorest people. The development cost for this project is partially being funded from the royalties from this book. By buying this book, you make a contribution to make this a reality. Thank you.