Renewables in 2017 - national progress helps achieve global record
Posted by Alison Vickers on 14 June 2018 at 9:16 am
Following on from one of our previous blogs ‘5 green energy milestones reached in 2017’ we now want to talk more about a record-breaking year for renewables. Some of the headlines include: 70% of all new power additions were renewable projects, and investment in renewable power capacity was more than double that of fossil fuel and nuclear power capacity combined (1). Reports from Quartz state that the installation of renewable-power capacity has doubled over the last 10 years (2). This gives us a great springboard for de-carbonising our energy usage and moving towards a cleaner, brighter future.
A global picture
75% of investment in new renewable power came from China, Europe and the US in 2017. However, since 2015 nations with emerging economies have been leading in investment for renewables – this includes China, India and Brazil amongst others. In contrast, the UK’s investment in renewable energy fell by 65% compared to 2016 (1).
The UK is leading in increasing the operating capacity of ocean energy and offshore wind through projects in Scotland. This includes their new tidal stream and floating offshore wind projects (1). See another of our previous blogs here for more information on renewable energy in Scotland. It is good to see the UK is a major player in certain renewable technologies after the recent withdrawal of subsidies for onshore wind power.
Case study: India
Last year India added more capacity from renewable energy than from conventional sources like coal for the first time in its history (3). This was around 11,788 megawatts (MW) and is keeping India on track to reach capacity additions of 175,000 MW from renewable sources by 2022 (3). There have been policy changes in India leading to uncertainty, which have led to wind power and solar power under-performing, but these are expected to be back on track this year (3). Power sources such as biomass and small-hydro have exceeded national targets in order to make up for this shortfall (3).
Case study: Australia
In Australia, they have added 700 megawatts of large-scale renewable energy capacity in the last year, with wind energy matching hydro generation for the first time (4). There is currently almost 5,000 megawatts either currently under construction or with financial support attached (4). These are mostly wind and solar projects worth around $11 billion (4). All of this means that Australia is now on target to achieve its aim of 33,850 gigawatt hours of power by 2020 (5).
We are pleased to see renewable records being broken all over the world and we are hopeful that these countries will continue these trends so that more and more power is being created through renewable options.
Don’t forget that you can take control into your own hands and create energy through renewable sources yourself through solar panels or heat pumps in your own home. If you are interested in this and want to find out more or look for a reputable installer near you please take a look at our web page here - http://www.yougen.co.uk/search/
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About the author: Alison joined The National Energy Foundation in 2017 as a Households and Communities Project Officer. With a BA in English and Politics and an MA in Environmental Politics from Keele University, Alison plays a key role in the delivery of the Better Housing Better Health service andGawcott Solar - two charitable projects coordinated by The Foundation.
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