With climate change becoming more critical across the planet and the environmental imperative to move away from fossil-fuels as well as renewed political incentives for sustainable energy, now is the time to focus on the development of micro-generation technologies.
Within the UK electricity sector renewables account for 7.7% of supply, generating about 26,000 GWh per year, enough for over 5 million homes. Although the bulk of our electricity still comes from coal, gas and nuclear power stations, renewable energy supply is growing fast at 9% a year to 9,327 MW installed capacity in June 2011 and is over 7 times the level it was in 1990.
The bulk of renewable electricity in the UK is from Biofuels and Waste (46%) with large Wind increasing in recent years (particularly offshore) to 39.5% and Hydro (large-scale) at 13%. Small-scale hydro (projects below 1 MW) supplies 1%, the same as Geothermal & Solar Heating, with others (Solar PV, Wave & Tidal) still at a small amount.
Natural gas, oil and electricity are the main form of heating buildings in the UK, but there is a massive opportunity for woodfuel and ground source heat pumps to make a contribution as a low carbon heating solution in many buildings, especially those in rural areas that are off the mains gas network.
Find out more about: Hydro • Solar • Wind • Woodfuel • Developing Countries