With the UK home to many projects pushing renewable energies, such as wind energy, and the government expected to offer millions of pounds towards funding local green energy projects, sustainable ways of generating energy is clearly high on the agenda.
In June 2017, the renewable energy industry enjoyed the highest ever output, meeting more than half of the UK’s electricity demand. With results like these, this industry could soon overtake the fossil fuel industry…
Let’s take a look at three of the fastest growing areas for renewable energy:
With over 1,200 operational wind projects in the UK, both onshore and offshore, wind energy is a huge contributor to the renewable energy industry in this country.
The world’s most powerful wind offshore wind turbines can be found in the UK, at Dong Energy’s Burbo Bank Extension wind farm, just off Liverpool Bay. With 32 turbines at this wind farm, each standing at an impressive 195 metres tall, the wind energy harnessed can help to power a staggering 230,000 homes!
This isn’t all – there are more offshore wind farms in the pipeline, with the government giving the green light for further projects, such as the second phase of Scottish Power’s East Anglia wind farm. This is a 1.2GW project that could produce enough electricity to power almost a million homes by 2025 and could be the cheapest yet in UK waters.
Solar panels currently provide enough electricity to power 2.7 million homes, with 99% of that capacity installed since 2010. This is impressive for technology that has been around for less than a decade and the industry is keen to build on this success.
With solar panels and batteries now cheaper than ever, the Climate Change Minister, Claire Perry has described the new Clayhill solar power farm in Bedfordshire, which was built without government subsidy, as a “significant moment for clean energy”.
This landmark development could pave the way for a sustainable future if the government continues to support such exceptional solar energy projects.
Perhaps lesser known than the two previous forms of renewable energy discussed, hydropower is energy derived from flowing water, whether that’s from rivers or man-made installations. Arguably a more consistent way of generating renewable energy, there’s great potential for growth with hydropower.
Contributing to around 18% of the UK’s renewable energy generation, hydropower turbines can convert as much as 90% of the available energy into electricity, showing incredible efficiency. With so much hydropower potential in the country, this is a renewable energy source to keep an eye on.
So, what does all of this mean?
As well as being better for the environment, the falling costs of renewable energies could have an impact on commodity prices if you’re trading with a platform like Oanda. What’s more, with constant improvements in technology, green energy is fast becoming a cheaper and more sustainable alternative to nuclear power plants and using our ever-depleting resource of fossil fuels.
Bethany Turner is a graduate in economics from the University of Leeds who now works as a finance writer offering expertise and guidance in the sector