Clean energy for the UK

WE NEED A GREENER FUTURE, A CARBON-FREE FUTURE, A RENEWABLE FUTURE.

A green energy system by 2030 will reduce our energy bills, remove pollution from the air and create hundreds of thousands of new fulfilling and valuable jobs.

THE PROBLEM

  • Global CO2 emissions have increased by 1% each year since 2010.
  • The UK’s Paris Agreement pledge states that around 75% of our electricity must come from clean energy sources by 2030 but natural gas still meets a third of the UK’s energy demand.
  • Unearthing, processing, and moving underground oil, gas, and coal deposits take an enormous toll on our landscapes and ecosystems.
  • Coal, oil, and gas development threaten our waterways and oceans: they create acid runoff, contaminate drinking water and jeopardise entire ecosystems.
  • When we burn oil, coal, and gas, we change the ocean’s basic chemistry, making it more acidic. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution the ocean has become 30 percent more acidic, a process that is responsible for a number of issues including the destruction of coral reefs and impairing the ability of the ocean to store carbon dioxide.

THE SOLUTION

Greater investment in renewable energy which will require infrastructure to be put in place to support it; this includes:

  • Modernising the national grid and investing in the electrification of heat and transport systems that rely almost entirely on fossil fuels.
  • Investment in battery storage to mitigate against the intermittent nature of renewable energy supply.
  • Investment in carbon capture technologies for existing fossil fuel power generation plants.

THE OUTCOME

  • Fully harnessing renewable energy technologies and infrastructure now will help mitigate the effects of climate change and help revive our global economy post COVID-19 .
  • Greater employment opportunities: investment in renewable energies globally could mean that there are 42 million jobs in renewables by 2050, a 62% increase.
  • Renewable energy is a far more stable investment than oil.
  • Investing in zero-carbon renewable electricity generation along with grid modernisation infrastructure in the short term will help the UK ensure that electricity generation is zero carbon by 2030.

LEARN MORE: POLICIES IN ACTION

Netherlands

Though the Netherlands currently lags behind other EU members in terms of total share of energy production from renewable sources (7.4%), their current climate policy lays out an ambitious commitment to a 49% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, and 95% by 2050, involving heavy investment into expanding the green hydrogen sector – in Sept. 2019 Northern Netherlands won a €20 million EU grant for building electrolysers and repurposing existing gas infrastructure for hydrogen transportation and storage, and the development of new off-shore solar and wind farms in the North Sea to enable large-scale hydrogen production.

 

Norway

Over 98% of electricity production in Norway comes from low carbon renewable energy sources, primarily hydropower. Around 90% of the electricity production capacity is currently held under public ownership, whether it be by states, counties, or municipalities. In March 2019, Norway divested its $1tn wealth fund (the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world) from investments in 134 oil and gas exploration companies; it has also announced intentions to allow investment in renewable energy projects unlisted in the stock market, which make up over ⅔ of Norway’s renewable infrastructure market.