The use of various forms of renewable energy has been on the increase over the past few years, and this is down to developing technology and the energy demands which spur it on. Government figures this year have shown that the UK’s renewable energy sector is growing rapidly. With the further use of wind and solar power on a more domestic basis, in addition to more industrial large-scale projects, these figures are set to continue on this increasing trend.
There has been a notable increase in the projects nationwide and RenewableUK, the trade and professional body for the wind and marine energy industries, is celebrating one of these renewable energy achievements. In September, 5 gigawatts of wind energy had been installed as onshore. This momentous landmark in renewable energy production was reached with the project of AES’s 28.6MW Scottish Borders project, less than 18 months after construction commenced. This project will be generating enough clean energy to power around 14,700 homes.
Another example of why renewable energy has been popular is because members of the public are starting to see a real gain and return from their investment in renewable energy projects. The single 500kw turbine Resilient Energy Great Dunklins project in Gloucestershire. The funding for this project came from not just individual investors, but also local residents who were contributing money in sums as little as £5. The returns from this investment come to all investors, including the local community. Residents will be able to use the power generated by this turbine for their own energy usage.
The increase of domestic solar panels has been spurred on by decreasing installation prices. Despite the recent subsidy cut, people are seeing that they can eventually see a return for their investments. With more of this type of renewable energy being constructed, the total amount of renewable energy output is bound to continue rising.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has figures which illustrate renewable energy output has risen. In 2012, output rose 6.5% to 8.13TWh and capacity grew 42.4% to 14.2GW, and this has been put down to the large-scale wind farms, both on and offshore. If we look at the UK’s electricity mix, we can see that renewables’ share has increased from 9.0% in the second quarter of 2011 to a higher figure of 9.6% only a year later.
Weather conditions have somewhat hindered the full potential of renewable such as hydroelectricity, solar energy and onshore wind power, which saw a drop in productivity in the past year. Having said that, offshore wind power increased in this time, and not long after the UK set a new record for the output of wind power. Because of this, the UK is looking to lay down new renewable energy records during 2012.
In conclusion, it’s simple to see that all the figures and statistics point to the increase in the output from the renewable energy sector. Increasing numbers of projects and domestic renewable production means that more people are accessing cleaner energy and saving money by doing so.