These days, renewable technologies not only generate 25 per cent of the UK’s electricity, they also generate plenty of data, giving us the chance to get a clear picture of what’s really going on.
We’ve pulled together our top ten resources as a quick reference guide, including stats, interactive tools and inspiration from the miscellany of initiatives that have taken root across the country. Read more
The Northern Powerhouse: everyone’s talking about it, but no one’s quite sure what it is, or where it is, for that matter.
Is it Manchester, where the phrase was first aired? Or all the northern cities, mapped out in a network, like atoms in a sheet of graphene? And what about the greenish bits in between: are the countryside and smaller towns simply blank space, to be passed through at high speed? Read more
1. Renewables are a UK success story. They have rapidly increased as a proportion of UK electricity supply since 2010.
The climate for renewable technologies in the UK has been notably inclement lately, ever since the summer’s soggy policy announcements resoundingly dampened investors’ and businesses’ enthusiasm. Now, even the usually resilient edifice of government is leaking.
This post is by Rolake Akinkugbe, energy specialist and head of energy and natural resources coverage at FBN Capital, Lagos Nigeria.
Africa’s energy landscape is as complex as it is amusing. One of the most oil and gas rich continents in the world also happens to have one of the largest concentrations of petroleum importers in the world. On average up to 70 per cent of Africa’s energy consumption is imported, mostly in the form of refined products. Read more
This post is by Matthew Lockwood, a senior research fellow in the Energy Policy Group at the University of Exeter.
Angela Merkel’s visit to London yesterday is being widely reported in the context of David Cameron’s efforts to secure EU reform. However, the presence of Europe’s electorally most successful leader is also a reminder of some contrasts between Germany and the UK in the area of energy policy. Read more
It’s rare to find a government policy which visibly annoys studiously neutral mandarins, but I now regularly encounter energetic rejection of renewable energy targets by senior officials.
Targets are considered an affront to rational thinking, a source of extra cost and an unnecessary constraint, binding the government’s hands on energy policy. Read more
Last week, on Radio 4’s Today programme, I was asked to critique the well known and controversial environmental commentator, Bjørn Lomborg. According to his theory, we should all do as Japan has recently done, and give up on greenhouse gas reduction targets and, instead, invest heavily in low carbon R&D. Doing so would be much cheaper, he argues, and would have a greater global impact as it would make low carbon technology so affordable it would naturally displace fossil fuel alternatives. Read more
This essay, by Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, also appears in Green conservatism: protecting the environment through open market, published last week by Green Alliance. There are similar collections under ‘Green social democracy’ and ‘Green liberalism’ projects as part of Green Alliance’s Green Roots programme, which aims to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. This has also been published on BusinessGreen.
As things stand, energy risks becoming the most divisive issue within the Conservative Party, the place usually held by Europe. On one side are the Roundheads, determinedly modern, concerned about climate change and convinced renewable energy holds the key to future prosperity and environmental nirvana. On the other, the Cavaliers, dismissive of climate change and convinced that the right combination of tax relief and shale gas will enable the UK to reclaim its glory days as an energy exporter. Read more
This is a guest post by Anne Wheldon, knowledge and research adviser at Ashden. The annual Ashden Awards reward high calibre, pioneering enterprises in the UK and developing world that share Ashden’s vision of sustainable energy for all.
The day I visited the island of San Vicente in the West African island state of Cape Verde last February was a normal Friday, as any other. In Mindelo, the main town on San Vincente, people were working in their businesses, shopping, getting cash out from ATMs for the weekend. In the hotel, staff were checking their sound system and making other preparations for a big function that evening.
So far, so normal. But what was amazing to me was that, on that particular day, 45 per cent of San Vicente’s electricity was generated by its wind farm. Read more