When we talk about renewable energy, one common misconception crops up over and over again. It goes something like this:
“It’s impractical to try to power a country on renewable energy.”
Well, that’s becoming a more difficult argument to make.
With 2017 in the rear view mirror, a new report has shown that the amount of power produced last year in the UK just from renewable sources was over 96 Terrawatt hours. That amount of power would have provided all the energy the whole UK needed in 1958!
Of course, our power needs have increased quite a lot since then.
But renewables accounted for 25% of the UK’s power generation in 2017, which is a huge improvement even over the previous year.
Overall, carbon emissions associated with electricity use fell 12%.
Even with this impressive step forward in moving to renewable energy, the UK still doesn’t lead the pack.
In fact, among the G7 countries the UK ranks only 4th.
Leading the way is Canada, with 66% of their power generation coming from renewable energy. This is huge as it demonstrates that there is potential for renewable energy to overtake more carbon-costly sources even in the largest nations.
Italy and Germany follow Canada with 46% and 32% of their energy generation coming from renewable sources respectively.
With these three industrialised nations ahead of the UK in moving to renewable energy, it is clear that good ol’ Blighty has a bit of catching up to do. The UK is, however, outpacing the other G7 members.
France and Japan sit below with 17% and 15% renewable generation respectively. But stuck right at the bottom of the pile are our friends across the pond – the US.
And with the current administration nonsensically intent on pushing coal power, it’s unlikely we’re going to see much of an improvement over the coming year.
As recently as 2010, 80% of the UK’s power generation came from fossil fuels. Today it is all the way down to 50%.
In seven years we have made incredible progress.
But with renewable energy and protecting the environment hovering near the top of the agenda, the next seven years could see an even more drastic increase in our green credentials.
And with countries like Canada, Italy and Germany showing the world what can be done with a proper commitment to renewable energy, it is becoming clear to governments around the world that it simply isn’t that difficult to produce renewable energy – even on the largest scales.
It seems that all that is separating most industrialised countries from seeing the kind of numbers we’re getting from Canada, Germany and Italy – as well as the UK – is a solid commitment to move energy generation to renewables.
With these reports coming back with better numbers year on year, we hope to see more countries commit further to renewable energy.