Renewable Energy: The facts and how it works
In 2017, 30% of our electricity came from renewable energy sources, a 5% increase from 2016. The demand is ever growing and more households are investing in their own green energy too.
Find out more about renewable energy sources around the world, the UK’s largest renewable sites and about the UK’s greenest year so far.
Renewable Energy Today
With solar power dropping in cost by 90% since 2009, it has meant that solar is becoming more affordable for every homeowner. Even without the governments feed in tariff benefits, there were 709,000 new solar installations in 2017, proving that there is still an interest in generating your own electricity.
By 2030, the government aims to have 75% of our electricity coming from renewable sources, but that is only possible through the growth of larger renewable energy sites.
Largest Renewable Energy Sites
The UK is currently home to the largest offshore wind farm , the London Array, with 630 MW (megawatts). However, China claim the top spots for having the largest on shore wind farm, solar farm and hydro electric station.
Hydropower is extremely accessible in the UK, with 838 hydroelectric schemes currently in action. Scotland is home to more 65% of hydro power stations, receiving the most rainfall throughout the year and therefore the most viable.
Solar farms are rarer in the UK than compared to hydro stations, but that is because of the large amount of space required in order to generate enough electricity.
Future plans for renewable energy
The UK is installing solar panels at a faster rate than compared to any other European country and by 2020, it has been estimated that 10 million homes will have solar panels installed, with the overall aim of 40% of the electricity generated coming from solar power.
More hydro power stations have been planned for Scotland and further wind turbines will be installed in the future, however, the grid still presents a growing issue for the government, as it will have to be further developed to keep up with the surge in energy generated.