Renewable Energy Supply in Britain – How green is it?


Low-carbon sources attribute to around half of the power generated in the UK. In this context, one of UK’s renewable energy chiefs reiterated that electric cars would not be able to tackle climate change if they ran on fossil fuels.

And, Matthew Wright, the managing director of Dong Energy UK, pointed out that the plug-in cars could cut local air pollution, but it would be futile if they increased greenhouse gases from coal and gas power stations. So, if the electricity mix is green, then the electric cars would be green too. Here’s a snapshot of how the energy sources would look like in the UK in future.

Wind
A third of the UK’s electricity was attributed to be generated from renewable sources between April and June, which is also a new milestone. A growing number of wind farms on land and around the UK’s coast reportedly contributed to this milestone. Meanwhile, three major offshore wind farms would be built in the early 2020s for a subsidy price.

Biomass
The biggest power station in the UK, Drax in North Yorkshire, has reportedly converted three of its six units from coal to biomass and is considering switching a fourth. The idea of wood-burning being green could be disputed by environmentalists, but it is officially considered as low-carbon by the EU and UK.

Solar
Solar panels have grown rapidly between 2011 and 2016 and currently are a major source of power. Experts believe that the amount of solar installed would be a fifth of the capacity that has been fitted in the last five years.

Nuclear
Nuclear power stations contributed to around 23.6% of the UK’s power during April and June. Britain’s first new nuclear station, EDF, at Hinkley Point in Somerset, believes that by 2035, the share of nuclear would grow to around a third of the UK power supply.
EDF reportedly believes that the best way of achieving affordable, reliable, and low-carbon power is from renewables, nuclear, and gas.

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