Ever since the United Kingdom first put forth vigorous renewable policies in place back in 2009 one thing has been made clear. The emphasis has been to totally get away from using every type of fossil fuel to produce electricity but cleaner burning natural gas. The latest renewable energy signs are very favorable for this being completely possible for the UK in the future. The most positive sign is the big increase in wind energy output as it has passed nuclear energy output for the first time in a 3-month period ever. 

Although wind energy production exceeded nuclear energy production by the slimmest of margins in the first quarter of 2018, it’s still a significant sign in the UK as the country continues to strive to meet its renewable energy goals. During the first quarter of 2018 windfarms in the UK were responsible for generating over 18% of the country’s overall energy demands. Wind production was even responsible for as much as 50% of the country’s overall energy demands on one day (March 17) during that same time period. 

The United Kingdom Depends Heavily On Renewable Wind Energy 

Although energy output has increased significantly in the UK the conditions are not favorable for it to grow substantially like it has in other parts of the world. The UK simply does not have the land mass required for huge solar farms to be built and the available sunshine per day in the country is not favorable for large scale solar energy production either.  

But don’t be mistaken; solar is a big contributor as to why 30% of the UK’s power now comes from renewable energy sources. As a matter of fact the UK has seen a dramatic rise in renewable energy use in a very short period of time. In 2011 only 9% of the country’s energy needs were met by renewable energy sources. That means renewable energy use in the UK has more than tripled in just a short 6-year period. 

There is also no mistaking though that the single biggest contributor on the renewable energy front in the United Kingdom is wind power. Since the UK is surrounded by water on all sides it’s frequently pelted by strong winds which make it an ideal spot for huge amounts of wind generated energy production. The UK is also the biggest offshore generator of wind turbine electric power in the world.  

Mixed Renewable Energy News Out of the UK 

What makes the news that wind energy overtook nuclear energy production for the first time in the UK look even more impressive is the fact that many renewable energy source incentives in the country have somewhat gone away too. Also stifling renewables in the country is the fact that individuals now have to pay a hefty sum of between 2500-10,000 UK Pounds for a grid connection estimate. Previously this was completely free and it has many potential small renewable energy power station prospects thinking twice about adding solar panels or other means of renewable power generation to their homes. This fee is due and payable even if the individual does not go ahead with the renewable energy project. 

Overall renewable energy investment in the country has dropped off by more than 56% thanks to government policy changes that took place in 2015. 

There has also been a big push in the United Kingdom to get coal fired power plants converted over to biomass burning power plants. Biomass burning mainly consists of burning large amounts of wood. While the UK and EU do consider wood a renewable energy source, there is still much debate on that subject. There is no debating however, that biomass burns much cleaner than coal does so it has less environmental impact. 

Wind Definitely is the Key to the UK’s Immediate Renewable Energy Future 

So without a doubt wind generated power is the key to the UK’s continued growth in the renewables energy sector. Look for the country to significantly expand both its onshore and offshore wind electrical generating capacity in the next few years. With continued improvements in wind turbine technology and the lowering of installation costs, the future looks very bright for a long time to come as far as wind generated power in the United Kingdom is concerned. 

 

Sources: 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/16/wind-power-overtakes-nuclear-for-first-time-in-uk-across-a-quarter

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/18/clean-energy-renewables-projects-stifled-by-tory-reforms-says-labour

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/07/how-green-is-britains-low-carbon-energy-supply

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