UK: Renewable energy sees massive growth
The share of power supplied by renewable energy in the UK has gone up by 30% from last year.
The first quarter of 2012 showed that power generated by wind, sea, solar, other hydro electricity and bioenergy provided 11% of Britain’s energy, compared to the first quarter of 2011′s 7.7%. In 2009 it was just 3%.
The UK has pledged that by 2020 it will produce 15% of its power from ‘clean’ energy sources.
Other big changes in energy production were seen in the areas of gas, coal and nuclear – and it’s not all good news.
From the Independent:
The latest figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change show that gas accounted for 27 per cent of electricity generated in the first quarter of 2012, its lowest level in the past 14 years. High gas prices were blamed. Coal accounted for 42 per cent, up by a fifth, while nuclear fell from 19 to 17 per cent.
Nonetheless, the government wants to cut subsides to green energy, despite large and steady growth in the sector, contributing to energy security and job growth.
A new report commissioned by Friends of the Earth claims the UK government is overly dependent on importing fossil fuels and diminishing domestic fossil fuels. This situation puts British energy security at risk as international gas prices are set to go up due to increased demand from India and China.
Britain’s dependence on imported gas grew in tandem with falling production from indigenous North Sea fields, becoming a net importer for the first time last year after decades of virtual self-sufficiency.
Another report by the think tank CentreForum urges the UK to develop and implement technology for converting food waste into energy. The study suggests that this could be facilitated by banning food waste from landfills. The UK is running out of landfill space and running out of time to meet EU regulations, which ban food from landfills by 2020.
Read more about that story in the Guardian.