Greener energy sources are vital to reduce dangerous CO2 emissions, to replace aging fossil fuelled power stations and to increase our energy security.
Mainstream scientific opinion states that burning fossil fuels is damaging the climate.
CO2 levels continue to rise at around 2ppm every year, with the latest data showing an average value of just under 394ppm (NOAA data for 2012). When levels passed the accepted danger point of 350ppm in 1988, it was the first time they had exceeded that level in at least 650,000 years.
The UK Government is committed to cost-effective renewable energy as part of a diverse, low-carbon and secure energy mix. It has a target of meeting 15% of the UK’s energy demand from renewable sources by 2020, by which time renewable electricity is expected to account for 30% of our power needs. Between January 2010 and September 2013, DECC recorded announcements worth £31bn of private investment in renewable electricity generation, with the potential to support over 35,000 jobs. By 2020 the renewables industry is likely to be sustaining some 400,000 jobs (Source: Renewable Energy: Made in Britain, REA, publication, April, 2012).
Renewables accounted for 13.1% of all electricity generated in the 12 months to 30 June 2013 (Energy Trends Sept 2013).
Renewable energy is popular. A tracking survey conducted quarterly for DECC by an independent research organisation has shown consistently high levels of public support for renewables. Interviews conducted with 2,103 UK adults in September 2013 showed 76% were in favour of renewable energy, 20% didn’t know, and only 4% were opposed.