Report claims UK has technology to achieve zero carbon

Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions in the UK is said to be achievable with current technology, according to a recent report.

The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) stated a net-zero carbon Britain is already possible without any future technology developments.

The report claimed that by making changes to buildings, transport and industry, demand for energy could be reduced by 60%. It also stated making more changes to energy, our diet and the lay of the land use could lead to renewable energy being the only source of energy, as well as cutting emissions from agriculture and industry.

The UK government has, however, described the carbon capture technology as “game-changing” when addressing climate change, with the first project set to be operational next year.

So how can we become carbon zero?

Firstly, CAT said new houses being built need to be to a standard where energy costs can be cut to just £15 a year. This would be achieved by using insulated masonry and concrete, triple-glazing, LED lighting and air-source heat pumps.

It is possible that changes could be made to existing buildings to enhance temperature control, with the potential of heating being reduced by 50%.

Meanwhile, transport demand, the report claims, could be reduced by up to 78%, by increased use of public transport, walking, cycling and using EVs. The aim is also to cut flights by two thirds.

Increasing energy supplies

Based on the UK’s energy use figures in the last decade, it appears possible to meet demand with renewable and carbon-neutral energy-based sources.

Wind power would make up half with the rest being generated from geothermal, hydro, tidal and solar. Carbon-neutral synthetic fuels are also an important alternative to electricity.

Transforming land and diets

Diets can help us to reach carbon zero by switching from meat and dairy-based diets to plant-based proteins. CAT has said we can reduce on-farm greenhouse gas emissions by 57% and cut food imports from 42% to 17%. Three-quarters of current livestock can also be used for restoring forests and peatlands.

Also, as a country, CAT insists, we are currently importing many foods which could easily be grown in the UK.

Plenty of food for thought, I’m sure you’d agree!

Renewable electricity overtakes fossil fuels in the UK for the first time

A couple of days after the famous Ferrybridge power station cooling towers were razed to the ground, it was announced that, in the third quarter of 2019, for the first time history renewable energy generated more electricity than fossil fuel power stations in the United Kingdom.

The U.K’s wind farms, solar panels, biomass and hydro plants outstripped coal, oil and gas during the months of July, August and September, producing 29.5 terawatts (TWh), compared with just 29.1TWh, according to Carbon Brief.

The new milestone confirms predictions made by the National Grid that 2019 will be the first year since the industrial revolution that zero-carbon electricity – renewables and nuclear – overtakes gas and coal-fired power. New offshore wind farms have helped to take renewables past fossil fuels in a crucial tipping point in Britain’s Energy transition.

Less than 10 years ago fossil fuels made up four-fifths of the country’s electricity, which was split between gas and coal. However, the recent analysis undertaken by Carbon Brief shows that coal-fired power made up less than 1% of all electricity generated. This has resulted in British coal plants, such as Ferrybridge, which has dominated the Yorkshire skyline for around half a century, shutting down ahead of the 2025 ban. By next spring just four coal plants will remain in the UK.

Nuclear made up less than a fifth of the UK’s electricity in the last quarter, while wind power is the UK’s strongest source of renewable energy. The opening of wind farm schemes almost doubled the 2,100MW worth of offshore capacity which began powering homes in 2018.

Luke Clark of Renewable UK, stated the industry hopes to treble the size of its offshore wind sector by 2030 to generate more than a third of the UK’s electricity.

For more information on how Energy Management can help your business secure green energy for the future, contact a member of the team now on 01225-867722 or email sales@energymanagementltd.com.

Smart Export Guarantee – What is it?

Following the closure of the Feed in Tariff (FiT) to new applicants in March 2019, the need for payment for electricity exported to the grid by small-scale renewables was recognised. Thus, BEIS introduced the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).

The Smart Export Guarantee is a mechanism designed to ensure people/businesses who generate renewable energy and export to the grid are paid fairly. It applies to any of the following renewable energy technologies;

  • Solar PV panels, onshore wind, anaerobic digestion, hydro – up to 5MW
  • Micro Combined heat and power – with an electrical capacity of up to 50kW

The Smart Export Guarantee will come into force from 1st January 2020. Anybody who already receives FiT on installations will be unaffected by SEG.

How much will you receive?

Nothing is set in stone, however, we predict that initial SEG tariffs to be straightforward, most likely offering a fixed pence per kWh export rate.

The only requirement for SEGs is that the tariff must always be greater than zero, effectively meaning it is up to energy suppliers to decide what to offer their customers. Tariffs will differ between suppliers and some may choose to offer multiple choices.

How can we help?

Energy Management has expert industry knowledge which allows us to guide you through the whole renewable energy installation process. We arrange and manage the installation of the infrastructure right the way through to the procurement of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and SEGs.

For more information give a member of the team a call on 01225 867722, or alternatively email sales@energymanagementltd.com.