Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Clean Power

Renewable Power Generation In The UK Will Surpass Nuclear By 2018, Research Concludes

 
Renewable electricity capacity in the UK is projected to overtake nuclear power by 2018, if the present rates of growth continue, according to new research. And this clean power will generate enough electricity to power one in every 10 UK homes by 2015.

cows wind turbine

Currently, the total wind energy capacity is, by itself, up more than a quarter since 2010. 2012 has been a “surprisingly good” year for the renewables industry, in spite of “cooling” government enthusiasm, primarily because of vigorous private investment.

Recently, “more than 100 Tory MPs signed a statement this year opposing new windfarms, and the chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, has queried the future of subsidies,” the UK’s Guardian notes. But the renewables industry has continued to vigorously grow, investment in offshore wind has soared by about 60% to £1.5 billion during the last year. Approvals for planned onshore wind farms have also risen considerably, by around 50%, now reaching a record level, according to the trade association Renewable UK.

And even though there has been considerable opposition against wind power from many top Tory MPs, the amount of new onshore wind capacity that was approved last year was the highest since 2008.

Maria McCaffery, chief executive of Renewable UK, said: “These strong figures underline the importance of a secure trading climate to attract investment, especially in difficult times. That’s why it’s so important that the framework provided by the energy bill, currently under parliamentary scrutiny, must be right. Although we still have a long way to go to meet our challenging targets, we are firmly on track and gathering momentum.”


 
The new energy minister, John Hayes, known as a conservative who has in the past been a critic of wind energy, recently told the Guardian that he was “proud” of the UK’s wind power industry. “Investing in cutting edge technology is very British,” he said.

And even though he has in the past opposed wind farms, as long as they are built in “suitable” areas, he now doesn’t object to new ones being built. “It’s about having the support of local people – that is the key thing,” he said. The new coalition government is expected to introduce measures that will allow local communities to benefit more from windfarms. As an example, by getting a financial stake in the revenues of the farms.

The Guardian goes on:

“The energy bill, originally expected to be debated next week, is likely to be delayed until later in November as ministers wrangle over the implications. There is a sharp split within the Tory party over how to treat renewable energy, as more than 100 of the Conservatives’ MPs earlier this year signed a letter opposing new windfarms. Peter Lilley, a vocal climate change sceptic, was appointed to the energy and climate change select committee last week in a move that some saw as an indication of a rightward shift in the government’s climate policy. But David Cameron has in the past said renewable energy would be crucial to the UK’s future prosperity.”

If there are any last-minute changes to the energy bill it could potentially drive away investors. Many major wind turbine manufacturers are waiting to find out more about the country’s future energy policies before constructing new manufacturing plants in the UK.

These are companies such as Siemens, GE, and Mitsubishi, which could inject large amounts of money into local economies, but that won’t risk investment without suitable government policies.

“The repeated insistence from Osborne that the UK’s energy future lies with the gas industry – a new ‘dash for gas’ is under way, with the government clearing the path for 20 new gas-fired power stations – has unsettled renewable energy investors.”

“The constant talk about gas is not reassuring for us,” one major wind investor was quoted as saying off the record.

Last year there were at least 137,000 people employed in the renewable energy sector, and another 654,500 in ancillary industries, according to Renewable UK.

Source: The Guardian
Image Credits: Kuhs by Dirk Ingo Franke (some rights reserved)

 
Check out our brand new E-Bike Guide. If you're curious about electric bikes, this is the best place to start your e-mobility journey!
 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Advertisement
 
Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

Comments

You May Also Like

Biomass

At the end of 2020, I published a report on solar power, wind power, and fossil fuel power market share changes from 2010 to...

Clean Power

Renewable energy set several records in the UK in 2017, but the country still has a long way to go to reduce emissions from...

Climate Change

Interestingly, the US natural gas fracking scenario seems to be repeating itself right now in the United Kingdom. BBC News announced this morning that David...

Clean Power

I put this in our solar and wind news roundup yesterday, but I’ve decided it deserves more eyes (for some reason, those roundup posts...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.