Published on March 11, 2009
Renewables and Green Energy Dave Elliott
The Energy and Climate crisis Whatever we do about using energy more efficiently, and even if we can stabilise the global population, we will need new energy sources to replace fossil fuels - not just because they will run out, but also because using them up will impose huge climate change costs on society. We need new clean, green energy technology
The UK is very well placed- we have enviable renewable energy sources Potential % of overall UK electricity supply in 2050 Onshore wind 8-11% Offshore wind 18-23% Wave/Tidal 12-14% Biomass 9-11% PV solar 6-8% TOTAL 53-67% Based on overall likely level of supply of 400-500 TWh in 2050 Source: DTI/Carbon Trust ‘Renewables Innovation Review’ 2004
Offshore wind, tidal, wave- the UK has the world’s best resources
MCT Seaflow tidal current turbine SeaFlow Marine Current Turbine farm Building offshore renewables at Burntisland Fabrications in Scotland Lunar Energy Tidal farm
Severn Barrage 8.6GW Severn Tidal Fence 1.3GW Tidal Lagoon Big stuff- new review of Severn options
We can also use solar energy ..and biomass energy crops
£/MWh Frontier Economics 2008
Economics- prices for most renewables look likely to fall significantly- below that for fossil and nuclear UK Cabinet Office PIU study, 2003
Long term cost trends
Airtricity North Sea Supergird - linking in off-shore wind farms 10GW initial stage now planned
EU-ME-NA grid network linking up wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass projects, with CSP solar in desert areas also proving 15 % of energy Its not just a UK issue - it’s global
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Focused solar ‘Power Tower’
Germany - 23 GW of wind, 2GW PV In 2008 it got 14.2% of its electricity, and 8.6% of its final energy from renewables. Target: 30% of electricity by 2020 USA - 20 GW of wind In 2008, 29 GW(e) of (non-hydro) renewables+77GW hydro- ~10% of total US energy generation capacity. Target: 10% of electricity by 2010. 25% by 2025. China 7.7% of energy from renewables in 2005 . Targets: 10% by 2010, 15% by 2020 Wind target- 20GW by 2020, possibly more (100GW?)
International Sustainable Energy Organisation www.uniseo.org/energygraph.html
Energy Watch ‘high’ scenario- 4,45GW of (non hydro) renewables globally by 2030- 30% share of final total energy demand, 62% of global electricity ( Energy Watch 2008 )
We don’t need Nuclear * Can’t contribute short term: ~10 years to plan/build * or long term: reserves of high grade uranium limited In the meantime, creates further problems with: * Accidental leaks and emissions * Long term disposal of active wastes * Proliferation of bomb making capacity and materials * Potential Terrorist attacks Renewables - mostly faster, cleaner, safer, cheaper, with no emissions or wastes,no proliferation or terrorist threats, and no fuel resource depletion worries The accident at Chernobyl plant in the Ukraine led to many EU countries backing off from nuclear power
Conventional coal fired power plant- carbon dioxide gas released up chimney stack Waste heat pumped out as steam from cooling towers ~30% efficiency ..and we have to get rid of these
Brimsdown CCGT Power Plant - 400 MW of electricity 50% efficiency Combined Cycle Gas Turbine These are better..
Brimsdown CCGT - The Fancoil Unit 400MW of waste heat ..but not much
Combined Heat and Power - up to 80% efficient
Loft Insulation High efficiency Windows Compact Fluorescent Lamps Domestic Energy Efficiency Cavity wall filling We also need to avoid energy waste
So there is plenty to do… And we need the push hard to make it happen The TUC has called for a ‘just transition to a greener economy', It says that ‘while countries such as Germany, Denmark and Spain are creating thousands of jobs and billions of pounds in revenue by actively supporting green businesses, the UK is lagging behind’ . The TUC report 'A Green and Fair Future' , urges the Government to work more closely with employers and unions to start implementing policies that will allow the UK to become a world leader in the new green economy. And it’s new report ‘Unlocking Green Enterprise: A Low Carbon Strategy for the UK Economy’ , spells out what’s needed in more detail But it has to be done right - as well as quickly
There is no shortage of ideas -and investing in them will create of lot of new jobs Jobs in windpower in the UK Renewables Advisory Board forecasts
Green energy jobs There could be 160,000 people employed in the UK renewable energy industry by 2020- according to BERR 250,000 are already employed in Germany and this is expected to rise to 400,000 by 2020 US President Obama has allocated $168 billion to green energy technologies in his Feb 2009 economic rescue plan - which is designed to create 3.5 million jobs
But the UK has not yet really started to exploit its huge renewable resource- though others have / UK 1.3% Next : EU targets for 2020 Austria 34% Denmark 30% Finland 38% Latvia 42% Portugal 31% Sweden 49% UK 15% .. still a way to go 40%
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