Renewables Can Reduce UK Reliance on Imported Dirty Energy

Permaculture magazine
Thursday, 22nd May 2014

The UK imports 61.2% of its fossil fuels to generate electricity. Good Energy, a 100% renewables company, proves there is an alternative to dirty energy and announces a 28% growth its it network in the last 12 months.

The UK imported over 60% of the fuel it used to generate electricity in 2012, up by 12% since 2011. 

Good Energy, supplier of 100% renewable electricity, released this news today at Hay Festival, showing that foreign fuel imports now dominate the UK electricity market. 

At the same time UK renewables have shown tremendous growth. Good Energy’s calculations show that natural sources like sun, wind and water provided over a quarter of all the UK-based power used to generate electricity in 2012.

Juliet Davenport, CEO and Founder of Good Energy, said:

"At Good Energy we are working towards a future free from fossil fuels. We need to get everyone involved, today; a new generation of people, business and society working together for a cleaner, more secure future." 

“By choosing how your electricity is sourced you really can make a difference by creating demand for more renewable power. And our Feed-in Tariff community who make their own electricity can benefit from cheaper bills and avoid being entirely reliant on the big utilities.”

The Department of Energy and Climate Change estimates that British renewable power production is up by 30% accounting for almost 15% of the electricity the UK generated in 2013. That’s the equivalent of 12.5 million homes - twice the number of households in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Southampton, Nottingham, Sheffield, Bristol and Brighton combined. 

An important part of growth in renewables has been the impact of small generators under the Feed-in Tariff, which number more than 430,000 installations with a total capacity of more than 2GW. Good Energy has seen a 28% growth in its network of home and commercial micro-generators in the past 12 months, proving that this trend is no flash in the pan.

“We are partnering with the Hay Festival to stimulate discussion and debate about how the arts community can help us make the cultural leap needed to tackle climate change and fill the energy gap in the future. We are really looking forward to engaging with the UK’s leading thinkers and cultural leaders in an atmosphere open to new ideas.”

Renewable energy is very popular with the UK public. Recent government research found that 80% of people support the use of renewables to provide electricity, fuel and heat for our country. Six in ten said they would be happy to have a large scale renewable energy development in their area, an increase on last year.

People are concerned about our reliance on imports of foreign fuels. A recent research study revealed that people want to see a reduction in fossil fuel usage; 74% of participants were very or fairly concerned about climate change, while 82% were worried about the UK becoming too dependent upon energy from other countries .

Juliet Davenport will be speaking at Hay Festival on May 31st on a panel with our author Howard Johns, Mark Shorrock from Swansea's Tidal Lagoon Power scheme and Caplor Energy's Gareth Williams.

The panel will be discussing how we need to rethink the way we use and generate energy and the importance of community energy systems. This is bound to be a stimulating and controversial evening.

Howard Johns is the author of The Energy Revolution: Your Guide to Repowering the Energy System, to be published this autumn by our publishing arm. Howard Johns founded Southern Solar in 2012, which grew into one of the largest solar companies in the south of the UK. He served as chairman of the Solar Trade Association for five years, representing the industry in the media, as well as in parliamentary hearings and at national and international conferences. Howard led the development of his local energy company and was instrumental in raising funds to build the first community owned solar PV system in the UK. He is a vocal advocate for renewable energy and a champion of community energy.

Further resources

For more information about Good Energy at Hay visit www.goodenergy.co.uk/hay-festival

The energy revolution at Hay-on-Wye festival

For more information about this event and more visit www.hayfestival.com

Permaculture - practical solutions for self-reliance, a magazine filled with useful and inspiring features, stories and ideas about all aspects of sustainable living from gardening and farming to green building and renewable technology. Check out a free digital copy HERE. You can subscribe to the print edition HERE.

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