As by now we are all aware, energy supply is very much at the forefront of debate either as a result of growing costs, reducing our carbon footprint or controversial methods of tapping into alternative types of energy. There can be no doubt that it is a subject certain to create emotive discussion. One thing we can be sure about is that we need to keep moving forward with ideas, developing long term strategic solutions to replace resources that will eventually run out.
All of the options so far presented have created issues in a variety of ways. Solar power looked to be a popular option as far back as the 1970s when it was realised that photo cells could convert sunlight directly into electricity. Photovoltaic cells (PV’s) can be used as roof tiles which eliminates the need for additional space, the sun is readily available (yes we know it may not seem like it at present) and the cells can produce more electricity than is needed which means it can be sold back to the grid.
Wind farms have their share of critics and Fracking is guaranteed to raise the blood pressure of vast numbers of people who feel their lives and immediate environment will be under threat at merest hint of investigative work being undertaken.
The UK also has some of the best wave and tidal opportunities in the world. This means the UK has become a global focus for the development and early deployment of wave and tidal energy. Marine energy could make a significant contribution to meeting the UK’s future energy needs although it has not developed as fast as the government had hoped.
The Government reports….
However in spite of all this according to the Department of Energy & Climate Change, the UK has made very good progress towards somewhat challenging targets of 2020 to deliver 15% of our energy demand from renewable sources with over 4% of the UK’s energy coming from renewable sources with overall capacity growth of 38% over the period July 2012 to June 2013 which now stands at 19.5 GW. Since January 2010 £31 billion of investment from the private sector has been committed to renewable electricity generation. This has a hugely important impact on the creation of jobs, possibly up to 35,000 across the country.
Renewable electricity share of total generation
Interestingly the UK is currently the world’s biggest offshore wind market with more capacity deployed than any other country. The Government has, along with industry, a joint Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy which is the long term frame work for the promotion of innovation and investment leading to growth in the UK. This includes on shore wind, solar, biomass, tidal stream and bio fuels.
As a ‘green’ kind of business we hope that the UK continues to invest in research and development and that the public recognise that this is the way forward.