Renewable energy at an all time high for the UK
During the first three months of 2012, the amount of renewable energy produced by the UK is at an all time high of 11%.
The types of renewable energy included wind power, which rose by 50% year on year, hydroelectricity output jumped up by 43% compared to the previous year’s three month period, thermal renewables reached the 20% mark and tidal, solar and wave energy shot up to 800% however, these three technologies are still in the early stages and remain the smallest renewable sector.
The figures for non renewable energy were promising too, with gas figures dropping to 27%, the lowest level in 14 years but the high price of gas was to blame for the decrease. The amount of energy produced by nuclear also fell from 19% in 2011 to 17% this year. However, the amount of coal accounted for 42% of the UK energy production.
The increase of renewable energy and the decrease of non renewable energy could be due to the amount of old, run down coal, gas and nuclear power stations being shut down as well as the ever increasing amount of wind turbines being erected across the country. Greenpeace believe that the UK are in a prime position to become ‘the Saudi Arabia of the global offshore wind farm industry’ because the cost of wind power is plummeting. However, if the Government make the wrong decision and decide to allow Fracking to take over the UK, this could cause devastating consequences according to Green Peace, who believe that the nation would reap the benefits of a ‘strong, home grown clean every boom with stabilised energy bills, new jobs and reduced carbon emissions.’
The rise of renewable energy production for the beginning of 2012 shows strong growth and a promising step towards the UK’s legally binding 15% target to be met by 2020. The amount of renewable energy created last year was 34.410 GWh, a third more than 2010 and in 2009, a mere 3% of the energy consumption came from renewables in the UK.
The Committee on Climate Change states that the UK’s carbon emissions have also fallen by 7% but only 0.8% of the drop is thought to be linked to climate change measures. Unfortunately, the wind farm industry could be in trouble due to the consideration of cutting the industries subsidies. To read more about this story, please visit Pali’s previous blog HERE.
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