Tag Archives: clean power
By Freccia Benn – (3 min read) Last year we looked at what might happen once the government’s Feed-in Tariff ended in March in this blog. A new law set to replace FiTs has received a mixed reception so far, but at a time when the future of onshore wind looks uncertain, could this new law be the glimmer of hope for small-scale renewable energy generators? Despite findings that onshore wind is an inexpensive way to produce electricity, the support for offshore wind seems to keep growing. Recently, it was announced that a new funding pot of £100m will help companies capitalise on the boom in the offshore sector. This comes at the same time as Theresa May announcing that the UK will become a zero carbon nation by 2050, to which trade body, Renewable UK, has responded that onshore wind needs to be a key part of the strategy in achieving this. Against this backdrop, the frustration is understandable for those in a position to create clean energy through onshore wind. But could the introduction of the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), a new law that will see small energy producers paid for excess energy they create that goes back to the grid by their energy companies, be a small turning point? The SEG, which will cover both wind and solar, will apply to any new contracts and will be based on the ‘export rate’ alone, whereas FiTs were based on both the export and generator rate. The other key difference is that the energy company can set their rate rather than using the fixed rate the government provided previously. Critics suggest it’s a backhanded way to reintroduce subsidies for new projects and the expansion of existing ones. So, is this a positive move? Small generators are less likely to get as favourable a rate as was available in the past, but any help the sector can get has got to be a good thing. Of course, the challenge for many of the companies which would be able to contribute to helping us reach the 2050 target with subsidy support, still remains. While money is being pumped into offshore wind, small gestures such as these do not go far enough to exploit the benefits of onshore wind. For further information, please contact: Freccia Benn Co-Founder 0203 876 0324
By Freccia Benn – (3 min read)
For further information, please contact:
0203 876 0324
By Travis Benn – (4 min read)
The utilities industry is one of the biggest consumers of energy and needs to make a drastic shift if we are to globally turn the tide on climate change. Thankfully the industry is making big strides in addressing the issue and has contributed to record breaking renewable energy production figures. For 90 hours and 45 minutes over Easter weekend the UK went coal-free, setting a new record. Though fossil fuels remain the dominant source of energy supply in the UK — 80 per cent in 2017 — they are actually at a record low according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The future of energy generation worldwide is in renewables, and the utilities industry is on the frontline of implementing new technology and policy, while ensuring security of supply and customer price. Companies like energy supplier Bulb have emerged in the market offering 100 per cent renewable electricity as standard and carbon neutral gas. Birmingham-based Tonik Energy, another renewable supplier, also offers solar and other products for customers looking to generate a portion of their energy. These smaller companies are setting higher standards.
As the government debates the effects of climate change, goals for energy consumption, and decarbonisation, it’s important to consider the industry’s progress thus far. The power sector has enacted some of the most significant early progress on mitigating climate change, especially given its status as one of the larger sources of carbon emissions.
In 2008 the UK passed its Climate Change Act targeting an 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 (from 1990 levels). In 2017 emissions had reduced by 42 per cent—marking the halfway point in roughly 10 years’ time. The success, among other factors, has led to discussions of setting even more ambitious target and an independent advisory panel is presenting a report this week on whether the 2050 goal should change to net-zero. This has wide support across the UK and parliament.
Looking specifically to policy on how we power the UK, in 2009 the Renewable Energy Directive set a target of 15 per cent renewables for all energy consumption by 2020. At that time renewable consumption was less than four per cent. Going even further, the water industry set a voluntary goal to generate 20 per cent renewables by 2020.
Water companies are accomplishing this in several ways. For example, SES Water in Surrey relies on more than 200,000 kilowatt hours each year from solar panels at its sites, and has also switched to purchasing only 100 per cent renewable electricity for all its treatment works, pumping stations and offices. For companies with wastewater there are additional options. Thames Water generates nearly 20 per cent of its electricity through biogas (anaerobic digestion of sewer sludge) and that amount increases nearly every year. Similarly, 10 per cent of South West Water’s energy comes from renewable energy which includes biogas production.
As result, combined with increases in wind power and other sources, in 2017 UK energy consumption was 10.2 per cent renewables. The trajectory of the last decade shows the 15 per cent goal is within reach. And because the directive includes all consumption—including transportation—the results are even more encouraging for the utilities industry, with renewable electricity generation increasing year on year.
For further information, please contact:
0203 375 6144