New research has surfaced as part of an electricity market analysis which shows how the UK is performing in terms of its 'energy mix'. Last year, we experienced a rise output from renewable energy sources as coal-fired energy generation continued its gradual decline. This is great news for those with an interest in energy efficiency and green living, or anyone who has already embraced the new wave of energy efficient electrical heating appliances. So how exactly is our energy being produced and is this trend likely to continue?
In the UK, most of our energy comes from power plants, and that hasn't changed much in the last few years. The difference is that in the past 12 months alone, energy generation from renewable plants rose by 19% - a sign that the UK's move to reduce carbon output from its plants is at least having some effect. Electricity generation from wind farms is also up by 15% from 2013 and almost doubled in the final months of the year. But wind farms are also one of the most controversial parts of our energy mix. When they work they tend to work very well, but when they don't they can be criticised an ineffecient and ineffective.
The research from EnAppSys told us that wind generation went up by around 97% in the latter part of the year - naturally due to high winds and adverse weather. In December alone, wind generation made up 14% of our overall energy generation which is actually a record for us here at home. Even when you balance that out across the year, it still accounted for almost 10% which is a nice direction to be heading in.
But the big picture, and the figure on everybody's minds, is what is our carbon output and has it been reduced? As many of you will know, the UK has EU targets to honour when it comes to bringing down our carbon emissions and we've pledged to make sure that at least 20% of all of our energy comes from renewable sources by 2020 - something which is still achieveable but will require more effort in the coming years. The recent rise of renewable energy generation, combined with reduced levels of 'coal-fired' energy generation mean that carbon emissions are now down by around 12% on last year, that 18% on the year before.
A representative from EnAppSys said, "In 2014 some 78% of total generation continued to be provided by coal, gas or nuclear powered plants, but with wind farms continuing to provide an increasing share of overall generation this has necessitated a smarter approach to power generation – creating new challenges for all participants in the market."
Moving to homegrown, renewable energy also has its advantages when it comes to homeowners and billpayers looking to stablilise their own energy future. Many are already upgrading to heating systems and other appliances which are efficient, environmentally friendly, and run solely off electricity without breaking any purse strings. This trend is set to continue as gas prices become more and more difficult to predict and budget for - the latest rise and fall in wholesale energy costs which affected the big six energy providers is one such example of how the unpredictability of gas have a devastating impact to those who are dependent on it.
Despite the above statistics however, which are impressive, the UK still has work to do. Some 31% of our 'energy mix' was still produced by coal-fired plants in 2014. Wind stood proudly at 9% and other sources such as biomass, hydro and solar made up another 13%. Things are certainly moving in the right direction for the UK, but we can all do our part to make sure our country reaches its carbon emissions targets - from being careful with the amount of energy we use, to investing in clean, green appliances to heat our homes.
Eco Stores Direct are here to bring you the very latest in energy news, views and opinions from across the UK. They are also suppliers of energy efficient electric heating solutions and are constantly assessing the market for the best products and the latest ground-breaking technology which they think will make a real difference to their customer's homes. Eco Stores Direct are devoted to helping you reduce your carbon footprint and bring down your energy bills and they work hard to raise awareness of energy efficient products that can make all the difference. If you're interested in electric heating or far Infrared panel heaters, call the biggest electric radiator specialists today on 0330 300 4444 for a free assessment.