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 renewable energy technologies.
Within the UK’s electricity supply, renewable energy (hydro schemes, solar farms, onshore and offshore wind and biomass) now accounts for almost 30% of supply, generating enough for over 18 million homes. Although the bulk of our electricity still comes from coal, gas and nuclear power stations, renewable energy supply is still growing fast to 35,700 MW installed capacity in 2016 and is nearly 4 times the level it was just 5 years ago in 2011.
The bulk of renewable electricity generation in the UK is from Biofuels and Waste at 36% and large Wind at 45% (increasing in recent years particularly from offshore) with Solar now at 12% (increasing 10-fold in the last 5 years) while Hydro is at 7%. Small-scale hydro (projects below 2 MW) supplies just 1.3%, with others (Geothermal & Solar Heating, 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 air 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