HI! We here at Maximus Green hope you all had a great Christmas and a fantastic New Year. We certainly did (I’m still nursing a New Years Eve hangover) and now we have to motivate our way back to work and endure the cold office.  2017 holds a lot of promise and potential, especially for the green energy sector. Our products reduce carbon-based fuel usage but, the use of renewable energy sources is something we are also passionate about.

 

So where are we now and what is in store for us in 2017? Renewable energy is up, massively and in particular wind turbine energy is on the increase.

Renewable energy sources provide good clean energy that can sustain our country with minimal environmental impact. Wind turbines both on and off-shore are the most common form of renewable energy in this country as our weather is perfectly suited to it. In recent years there have been issues with wind power in the UK. When the Conservative Government cut all subsidies for wind farms back in 2015 (to many protests) they argued it spoiled natural landscapes as well as endangering wildlife (predominantly birds and bats). Despite this, it has become the largest source of renewable energy and is increasing despite the lack of funding.

For example, the Delabole wind farm celebrated its 25th year of operation this year and many of the local residents have felt significant benefit:

‘we’ve not had power cuts; they’ve given money for repairing the church roof after storm damage, for playgrounds; they’ve put a load into the village.’

Initially, there was genuine criticism and

“After the wind farm started generating in 1991, one of the main criticisms was that the amount we contributed to the National Grid was so insignificant that we shouldn’t have bothered,” said previous owner and founder, Peter Edwards. “That’s why it’s so satisfying to see just how far wind energy has come and how it now competes with nuclear.”[1] 

 

Delabole Wind Farm in Cornwall

This last point can be seen most clearly on Christmas Day 2016. The major power group Drax has provided the startling statistic that ‘more than 40% of the electricity generated on the day came from renewable sources, the highest ever. It compared with 25% on Christmas Day in 2015, and 12% in 2012.’[2] Admittedly this is all the renewable sources the UK uses, however, with wind power making a significant portion of that market, ‘a new daily record of 32 per cent of UK electricity generated by wind power was set on Christmas Day, beating the previous high of 24 percent set in October 2014.’[3]

 

Photo Credit: biomassmagazine.com

This shows an excellent start for the UK’s stated aim to reduce its carbon footprint and also goes a long way to helping reach the targets set out by the Paris Agreement in 2016. We are sadly still behind the times when compared with other countries. In May 2016 the entire country of Portugal ran entirely off of renewable energy for four consecutive days. This monumental feat was a huge leap forward for the country and its commitment to improving their carbon footprint.

This, however, pales in comparison to July 2015 in Denmark that saw a particularly windy day meant they produced 140% of their electrical needs from wind farms. As a result, they exported some of their energy to nearby Sweden and Norway. Not only was this a landmark event for wind farms and green energy, it also proved to the world that the idea of a country running entirely on green energy was not only possible but could also be easily shared amongst other nations.

 

 

Even large corporates are getting behind renewable energy: one of the best-known businesses in the world, Google, has stated that it will be run entirely on renewable energy from 2017 onwards. This is huge news as they would set the standard and precedent for other like-minded companies to follow. Although they have stated they will not rule out nuclear power (a hotly contested subject in the green energy community) this first step into creating a company that runs off 100% renewable sources is a landmark achievement.

To summarise,

last year we have seen notable improvements in the UK using renewable energy sources, and that this year we expect that to escalate. Our goals have been realised by some countries already; that it is possible to survive on green energy alone. A recent study has just been published that shows not only can we power our towns and cities but that wind power plays a vital role in reducing greenhouse emissions from fossil fuels such as coal and gas.

Energy from wind farms in the UK prevented almost 36m tonnes of harmful carbon emissions in six years, equivalent to taking 2.3m cars off the road, the analysis found.’[4]Progress is certainly being made and as a result ‘a record number of oil and gas companies became insolvent last year, according to a new study which environmentalists said highlighted the need for the UK to prepare for the move to a low-carbon economy.’[5] We expect this to be the main theme of 2017 in the green economy, as we help move towards a more sustainable future.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/03/cornish-village-delabole-25-years-of-uk-wind-power

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/29/christmas-day-2016-renewable-energy-uk-green-electricity

[3] http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3001823/trio-of-fresh-uk-wind-energy-records-reflects-renewables-great-success-story

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/12/wind-power-curbing-greenhouse-emissions-study-finds

[5] http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/oil-gas-firms-industry-bust-renewable-energy-revolution-biofuel-solar-panel-wind-power-opec-saudi-a7507016.html

 

Danny Pay

Author Danny Pay

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