Nuclear power has proven an incredible divisive energy strategy over the years, with some singing its praises and others damning it as a dangerous and costly venture. Many supporters believe that the UK could reduce its emissions by up to 80% by 2050 if nuclear power is embraced and that it would do a good job of filling in the 'energy gap' left by fossil fuels. Opponents of nuclear cite the excessive cost, along with with environmental and ethical fallout and the drain it will have on funds which would otherwise go into renewable development. So with the Government so focused on short term fracking, how is nuclear looking as a prospect?
Tagged with 'renewableenergy'
It's good to know that our divided political parties agree on something - that the UK is the place to be for tidal energy generation. Energy minister, Greg Barker and Labour shadow energy minister Tom Greatrex both spoke at the Renewable UK conference yesterday, announcing their mutual support of tidal projects, and plans to develop them in order to reduce carbon and boost the economy.
Energy prices have been on the rise in the UK for some time, and energy companies have become the target of many political agendas and public outcries. But the one area in which we are allowed to celebrate is the innovation of technology and the energy saving potential that we have as consumers. Electric heating has become cheaper, and we now use a third less electricity to light our homes than we did 16 years ago. So while energy prices are out of our control, we hold the power when it comes to energy efficient solutions within our homes.
Analysts confronted energy companies this week, indicating that they should lower their consumer tariffs in line with falling gas wholesale prices. It is thought that consumers should be passed on a saving of around £30 per year as the demand for gas has fallen in the mild weather. Wholesale gas prices have fallen 16% since December, and as this was their prime reason for bumping up consumer prices, should the energy companies give a little back? The argument over transparency in the energy sector goes on.
A company known as Energy Bill Revolution have recently published a report which sees Britain lagging behind other EU countries when it comes to energy efficiency funding. The UK was expected to use the £60bn generated from carbon taxes in order to insulate homes and further Europe's energy cause over the next 15 years. While Germany, France and Spain have committed to using the tax money to fund energy efficiency programs, the UK has not. So what are we waiting for?
The TUC have recently backed a study that says household bills could be reduced by £82 per year if the Government were to boost funding for carbon capture equipment on power stations. Currently, the Government are relying heavily on offshore wind farms and, to a lesser extent, tidal power to meet their renewable energy targets, but the potential for carbon capture has been sadly over looked. What could it mean for us, the bill payers, and increasing energy prices?
Plans were submitted today for the world's first tidal lagoon energy generation project at Swansea Bay. It's estimated that the lagoon could generate enough renewable energy to power 120,000 homes for at least 120 years. It's thought that if successful, the same technology could be used to eventually generate 10% of the UK's energy needs - a major step up on the renewables ladder.
Business Secretary, Vince Cable has today spoken out on the issue of fracking and Government funding for renewables. In his opinion, shale gas exploration is a viable option which good make good business sense, but is more a long term objective. He has called for more energy policies to focus on renewable energy generation in the UK, helping homes to manage their bills and the country as a whole to improve its situation further down the line.
It's been argued in many academic and minister circles that the UK is not doing enough to tackle the way the UK heats its homes. In light of the Government's announcement of their 'Community Energy Strategy' and the EU's impending 'Renewable Heat Incentive' it's clear that its on the agenda, but is enough being done to move the UK's residents to more sustainable and cost effective heating solutions?
The energy forecaster, IEA, has today revealed concern over the UK's focus on shale gas exploration, indicating that it should instead be focus on the pursuit of nuclear energy generation. It warned that a decrease in energy prices was not likely to come from fracking, and that it short sighted to think that the UK will have the same success as the US. The International Energy Agency are the world's foremost experts on energy market predictions and forecasts.