renewable energy

Is nature caught between wind and fossil power?

“Keep the carbon in the ground,” is a regular chant from climate march protesters and campaigners. It is a launch pad to insisting on renewable energy sources to sustain our needs.

But with the desire from our Prime Minister to power all homes with offshore wind power by 2030, what are the trade offs for installing and relying upon sources of energy that are non-fossil fuel based?

Reports in June said that 47% of the UK’s energy in the first quarter of the year came from renewable energy. These are figures from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Add in biomass and nuclear and the figure rose to 62% of our energy.

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onshore wind

Politicians to ponder the winds of change for energy

Take a road trip to Scotland, Cornwall, East Anglia or through the major roads of France and the chances are you will see wind turbines on land.

In many coastal locations, especially off east of Great Britain, multiple wind turbines can be seen out to sea, too.

And it is these – multiplied sufficiently – that Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged last week would power the United Kingdom’s energy needs by 2030.

Raising the 30 gigawatts capacity target for 2030 to 40 gigawatts is, apparently, part of the Government’s 10-point plan for a green revolution. The rest of the plan will be announced by the end of the year.

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City buses

Councils switching to electric waste vehicles show leadership

When Prime Minister Boris Johnson made his “build, build, build” speech this summer, he mentioned wanting to introduce 4,000 ‘carbon zero buses’, to address the climate crisis.

There are several London bus routes which run on non-fossil based fuel, as he well knows from his time as mayor of our capital city.

His recent speech didn’t extend the sentiment to refuse vehicles, however, which was a shame. Nearly a year ago, Westminster council struck a deal with Veolia, their waste recycling contractor, to introduce electric vehicles.

That was five months after the City of London Corporation vowed in April 2019 to become the first UK council to run a fully electric fleet.

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What will you vow to change on World Environment Day?

Today is World Environment Day, run by the United Nations. How will you react? Do you care enough to start making changes to how you go about your daily life? What changes will you promise to make? What challenges can you set yourself? Can you explore nature better, especially in lockdown?

Perhaps the first thing we can all do is vow not to repeat the creation of litter last weekend, when thousands of pieces of litter were left strewn about our parks. While we cannot yet enjoy the company of the groups and societies with whom we met pre-Covid-19, many people are enjoying open spaces, while the weather is fine.

Maybe you might decide, upon receiving a renewal notice for energy bills, to choose a company, or a tariff, that ensures that the energy powering your house is generated by renewable energy sources.

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Spain sees the light over renewables

For those who dream of fuelling their electric cars – if we choose to drive – from our homes, powered by solar panels (our own or those from community projects) it seems there is hope.

The Spanish Government has passed a draft climate law to rely solely on renewable energy, buy 2050 – when it wants to reach carbon neutrality.

If approved, it would end fossil fuel subsidies in Spain.

What of us in Britain? A European commission report in January last year found that the UK government gave £10.5bn in support of fossil fuels per year, compared to just under £8bn to renewables. Australia seems to be pushing to “build fossil fuel infrastructure that will operate for decades” as it comes out of the Covid-19 crisis.

Spain sees the opportunity to create a potential 350,000 jobs from new economies per year and is acting quickly.

Read More »Spain sees the light over renewables