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Could Britain achieve 100% renewable energy?

renewable_energyDenmark, Norway, Portugal, Italy, Spain and all these other European countries show that it is possible to do so. They are all out-classing Britain.
 
flag-UKA bright future, full of jobs and export potential, with far less global upheaval caused by climate chaos awaits us, if only the political will was there

EU: 100 Percent Renewable Energy Is Here, The Energy Collective, David Thorpe, 13 June 13 Britain can, clearly, do far better, never mind all the party political wrangling over support for green technologies. If other countries can do it, so can we.

 As author and commentator Paul Gipe says: “the challenge has never been technical. The problem has always been a political desire for a high percentage of renewable energy in a nation’s generating mix, and the consistent implementation of policies that work”.  Some form of feed-in tariff, the evidence shows from international comparisons, with targeted and consistent support for selected technologies, clearly works to the benefit of those countries implementing it.
Britain is blessed with a huge amount of wind, tidal and marine current energy. There is also a plentiful source of organic material for anaerobic digestion, and solar thermal has always been popular on a small scale. Meanwhile, there is plenty of potential for demand reduction.
 Could Britain achieve 100% renewable energy? A 2011 PriceWaterhouseCooperscenario for 100% renewable electricity recommended that Europe work together to most cost-effectively achieve the magic 100% figure, by setting up a pan-Continental high voltage direct current grid, linked to north Africa, where large solar farms could make up the difference between what countries can generate on their own and their total needs, which would, by then, have been reduced using demand management and energy efficiency.
 Another scenario leading up to 2050, produced by WWF/Ecofys, foresees demand reduction, the smart grid, heat pumps, wind, solar, marine, hydro, geothermal and biomass energy as all part of a shared mix.
Zero CarbonBritain is to launch on June 17 at the Houses of Parliament a third version of its roadmap to 100% renewable electricity for the UK by 2030. Its angle includes additional land-use and lifestyle changes. There have been several other scenarios for achieving the same target from other organisations such as Greenpeace, the European Renewable Energy Foundation and the University of Oxford.
But despite this excellent advice, British energy policy seems to be lurching in the opposite direction. The Government’s current enthusiasm, demonstrated by Energy Minister Michael Fallon last week, for shale gas, is another diversion from what should be a complete decarbonisation commitment.
As Greenpeace energy campaigner Lawrence Carter said: “The Government is pandering to climate sceptic backbenchers like Peter Lilley. With everyone from Ofgem to Deutsche Bank to the Secretary of State for Energy agreeing UK shale gas won’t bring down bills, fracking could end up being a lot of pain.”
The appointment of George Eustice as David Cameron’s new energy and climate change advisor to the Conservative Parliamentary Advisory Board (CPAB) is also seemingly a step in the wrong direction to appease certain Tory backbenchers. He has talked of the “blight” of onshore windfarms, although he is a supporter of marine energy. At least Peter Lilley was not appointed, as was first touted: he has interests in Tethys Petroleum oil exploration company.
Nor was Lilley appointed to be chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee following Yeo’s resignation: it is Sir Robert Smith, who, (where Yeo had investments in green energy) has investments in Shell, the oil company with the worst environmental record, and Rio Tinto Zinc.
With the latest news on climate change being utterly depressing, all the stops need to come out to decarbonise our energy supply.
Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Italy, Spain and all these other European countries show that it is possible to do so. They are all out-classing Britain.
A bright future, full of jobs and export potential, with far less global upheaval caused by climate chaos awaits us, if only the political will was there.http://theenergycollective.com/david-k-thorpe/237161/it-s-not-utopian-100-renewable-electricity-here

June 14, 2013 - Posted by | renewable, UK

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