Environmental concerns, limited supply and the rising cost of fossil fuels have all contributed to a major change in recent years. Namely, the UK’s use of coal is slowly eroding away. With targets to phase out unabated coal-fired power plants by 2025, there are concerns over how this fuel supply will be replaced.
Enter renewable energy, which has been rising impressively in the UK and across the world. Read on as we explore whether renewable energy will take the reins from coal in the next decade.
While we were all making new year’s resolutions at the start of 2018, it seems the UK government was doing something quite similar. On 5th January, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BIES) released a plan to cap emissions for coal-fired power plants at 450 grams of CO2 per KW/h of electricity produced. In short, highly-polluting plants will be closed..
To meet these limits, plants will need to invest in carbon capture technology. In simple terms, this removes and stores the majority of carbon emitted. But it comes at a cost for energy companies..
These changes don’t necessarily rule out coal power. But they do make it less practical. Combined with rising costs of coal extraction and production, it makes coal power less of an attractive option to both energy companies and consumers. As a result, the BIES expects that the power generated by coal will fall by around 75%.
To replace power generated by coal, some will look to developments in nuclear power. Completion of the much discussed Hinkley Point C is expected in 2025, which will provide up to 3.2 GW of energy capacity. However, critics of the project have highlighted issues with nuclear waste. And with coal-fired plants being phased out before 2025, the country can’t rely on Hinkley Point C in the meantime..
Arguably more promising as a replacement for coal is renewable energy. In 2017, it provided a record 29.4% share of the UK’s electricity generation, up from 24.5% in 2016. This total was made up of onshore wind, offshore wind, bioenergy, hydro and solar energy. In terms of capacity, the two most promising options are onshore wind and solar photovoltaics, which each make up 32% of the UK’s renewable capacity..
In recent years, solar energy has become increasingly attractive to UK homeowners. They benefit from falling installation costs, improving efficiency and the added incentive of the feed-in tariff. Unlike other renewable sources – not to mention fossil fuels – solar power provides a practical way for property owners to generate their own energy and reduce dependence on for-profit energy providers.
If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, increase your independence and save money in the long run, solar panels are the perfect solution for your property. At NBEC, we provide high-performing solar solutions with a 20-year guarantee. As an MCS approved provider, our systems are eligible for the feed-in tariff meaning you can make more from the energy you generate.
Get your free quote today or contact us for more information.
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