Current Strategy of the UK on Renewable Energy and Technologies
The renewable energy strategy of the UK entails escalating the utilization of micro-generation and lessening energy wastage (The Stationery Office 2009). At present, strategy seeks to facilitate dissemination of renewable energy and heat technologies into the whole nation. This is an element to comply with the goals of the UK’s CO2 reduction.
Proof of advancement in force and focus of policy schemes on renewable energy and heat technologies to this end exists. Such technologies consist of wind, photovoltaic, biomass boilers, anaerobic digestion, hydro, ground-source heat pumps, micro combined heat and power, air and solar thermal.
The UK Renewable Energy Strategy publication contains strategies that will steer the achievement of provisional CO2 reduction goals for 2020 (UKGov 2009). A key area of this plan is to decarburize generation of electricity (Lowe 2010).
The estimated electricity production mix, in 2008, was 38 percent coal, 15 percent nuclear, 37 percent gas, 1.5 percent hydro, four percent oil, 1.5 percent wind, 3 percent pumped storage and, for other renewable technologies, 0 percent (Lowe 2010).
In case the plan to decarburize electricity becomes implemented the scope of the production mix might be changed, in support of renewable technologies. Electricity can efficiently turn into a less carbon exhaustive power source and tools run by electricity might have lesser carbon footprint than formerly (Blyth and Yang 2006). This contains lasting impacts on heating technology selections for constructions.
The energy bill of 2010/2011 (UKGov 2010) comprises the “Green Deal” which is a strategy to promote energy efficiency enhancements covered by funds from energy bills. The industry of energy reacts to transformations in policy as the industry’s expansion becomes connected to energy policy.
Today, drawing investment in the energy system is a key necessity for direction of energy outlays and attaining CO2 emissions goals. Hence, we can say that the comparatively modest charge of insulating an asset is apt to be recoverable from reserves in energy bills.
However, the long-standing recovery of micro-generation apparatus outlay will be hard to estimate as the cost of power into the prospect, can not be predicted accurately. The funding pact of Green Deal, which may take 25 years, is apt to span diverse occupiers of numerous assets.
Other targeted interventions and standard-setting became established in order to aid attaining strategic changes. Nevertheless, policy as a tool of change could, as well, create a further inherent need for transformation through dramatizing the significance of existing concerns and revealing new, attractive options. A key loom to this is the tactical employment of fear in promotion.
The utilization of fear messages becomes deemed too forceful to be the designed intervention. Elevated levels of public anxiety become created, in each occasion, suppose the UK energy policy does not succeed in controlling qualms in the energy supply production.
An additional approach is to attract the intrinsic need for social conscientiousness through revealing the significance of entity contributions to the energy infrastructure, in the UK.
Barriers to Adoption of Renewable Energy and Technologies
The main barriers to adoption of renewable technology in the UK can be classified into two groups, including economic and technical. The fact that installation is costly explains the economic barriers to adoption.
Energy supply, in the UK, is subject to further price rises than other EU states, in prospect, since a high investment become essential in low-carbon production (Department of Energy and Climate Change 2011; Stangeland 2007).
A vast fraction of the UK energy system has to be changed. In 2020, the cost gets projected to reach £200 billion (Altawel 2012). This figure is quite high as compared to other EU states.
Much of this portion can be used in the low carbon infrastructure, since the existing capacity of low carbon is extremely low in the UK. Also, the economic depression of 2007 caused much instability in both energy and fiscal markets, in addition to a reduction in demand for gas and electricity.
High prices of installation have fashioned a hard and vague atmosphere for private power firms to make enduring investment choices, which meet the UK’s energy requirements sufficiently and add to the achievement of the government’s strategy on renewable energy (Clean Energy 2012).
A number of cases demonstrate that, by 2030, the prices may experience a 30% rise (UKGov 2009). Hence, we can argue that the energy security distresses, as well as, cost of power are vital aspects that influence decisions regarding adoption of technology.
Renewable technologies become characterized by several complexities, especially in installation. This has a negative impact on the adoption rate. A study by Rogers (2003) reveals “innovators” deem complexity as a less restricting aspect than the realistic “early adopters.”
A number of renewable technology hardware, such as PV panels, wind turbines and solar thermal are extremely observable, while other hardware, such as, biomass boilers and heat pumps may be less observable. Hence, observation has the capacity to influence the adoption of diverse renewable technologies.
There are also other barriers to renewable energy, in the UK. So as, to understand these barriers, let us examine the common sources of renewable energy.
Land must be used in energy production. From an environmental perspective, land should be offset with alternative resources, since land is a valuable resource. Use of land may affect vegetation and wildlife. Hence, the area that will be used for production of renewable energy must be calculated, which becomes complex, at times.
The production of energy from solar cells, in large scale, necessitates the production of pure Silicon. Nevertheless, pure Silicon can not be easily produced, since it gets restricted by several factors. Inadequate economic activities and lack of enough land for photovoltaic installations are, also, barriers to production of solar energy.
While most parts of the world have built hydropower plants, environmental obstacles restrict further spread. Besides, the existing places with much potential hydropower are not adequate to retain the present growth in international demand. Hence, EU intends to reduce the share of hydropower demand, by 2030.
In addition, the building of hydropower plant involves vast encroachment on wildlife and vegetation. For instance, the Three Gorges Plant, in China left over 1.2 million people homeless, and towns became submerged (Stangeland 2007). Most persons, who became displaced, were farmers. As a result, many farmers lost jobs and, also, other social outcomes were unpleasant.
Biomass instead of fossil fuels can help in reducing the harmful impacts of global warming. Recycling waste products to produce bioenergy accounts for 10% of present global demand and the latent for an amplified creation of bioenergy is vital. While the creation of global energy from biomass is apt to increase, before 2030, the share of bioenergy is apt to remain constant, due to vast demand in energy.
However, a rise in the creation of bioenergy should be founded on sustainable utilization of biomass. This requires the augmented utilization of biomass for energy roles to be accomplished devoid of undesirable impact on biodiversity or food creation.
This became evident, in Mexico, when land for agriculture became transformed to biofuel, which became designed for the US market. Therefore, the wheat price rose tremendously, leading to severe problems for the deprived, since they could not afford to obtain the wheat.
Wave, Tidal and Geothermal Energy
While global power production founded on tidal and wave energy becomes anticipated to rise, by 2030, the share of sum global creation is negligible. Some factors that limit this share include economic and technical barriers, which can be related to building of vast tidal and wave energy plants. This, also, limits geothermal energy, which has latent in regions where such energy exists.
Benefits from the Increased Adoption of Renewable Technologies
Rogers (2003) explains that the benefits of renewable technologies can be explained using the phrase “preventive innovations” (p.233). Some of these benefits include prevention of power cuts and environmental destruction, as well as, reduction in the price of power.
The comparative benefit of such technologies can take place later, in prospect and be tentative. Reduced emissions of CO2 may not be deemed a noteworthy benefit by a number of prospective adopters. The anticipated benefit of low price or free power sounds attractive. However, it should be weighed against the considerable drawback, of the high cost of tools.
The production of energy from solar cells creates an alternative source of energy. Solar power becomes used, instead of electricity. Therefore, use of solar energy minimizes the use of fossil fuels.
Use of hydropower prevents power cuts and preserves the environment from destruction. This is because hydropower becomes generated from the source, directly and, also, it does not emit the poisonous greenhouse gases, during production. Besides, use of hydropower prevents minimizes the use of fossil fuels and, also, reduces the impacts of global warming, since it is renewable.
Biomass instead of fossil fuels can help in reducing the harmful impacts of global warming. Recycling waste products to produce bioenergy accounts for 10% of present global demand, and the latent for an amplified creation of bioenergy is vital. Also, use of bioenergy prevents power cuts and preserves the environment from destruction.
Wave, Tidal and Geothermal Energy
Using wave, tidal and geothermal energy reduces the harmful impacts of global warming. Besides, using such alternative sources of energy reduces power cost.
Current Schemes to Incentivize the Implementation of Renewable Technologies in the UK
In April 2010, a method of feed-in tariffs (FiT) was introduced by The Department of Energy and Climate Change, to incentivize low carbon electricity production, in small scale; under 5MW (Department of Energy and Climate Change 2012). This scheme of FiT disburses a tariff to the proprietor of equipment, for all the energy that becomes produced, as well as the energy that becomes utilized on spot.
Suitable technologies comprise of PV, wind, hydro, domestic scale micro combined heat and power (CHP) and anaerobic digestion (UKGov 2009). Early indicators demonstrate a noteworthy expansion in the domestic renewable energy, because of the FiT2 plus, an inadvertent expansion in summative, field grounded PV installations that get funded through the scheme’s capital (Positive Footprint 2012).
Nevertheless, the budget of FiT is presently limited and in 2013 it will experience review. In Feb 2010, a conference on the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which is an alternative scheme, was published (Department of Energy and Climate Change 2012).
The array of technologies backed by this scheme comprises of renewable CHP, water, air, solar thermal, ground-source heat pumps and biomass boilers (Baker et al. 2009). Apparatus donations, which were available earlier, became fragmented, instantly, due to the recommended RHI and FiT.
RHI and FiT incentives, while further expensive to the communal purse, are akin to measures that have experienced success in other European nations. The most successful policy tools for new office building projects, in energy innovation and diffusion, were incentives and standard-setting. Standard transformations in Government strategies are apt to be a cause by mystification for prospective adopters.
The UK Renewable Energy Strategy (Department of Energy & Climate Change 2009) stipulated that, much monetary support would be allocated to industries, households and societies as an incentive to utilize renewable heat and electricity.
Lessening the installation charge of renewable technology systems will augment adoption considerably. This is because the main barriers to adopt renewable technology in the UK, can be related to high installation outlays.
Besides, demand usually exceeds supply, mainly for these installations, maintaining high cost. As a result, a hard and vague atmosphere becomes a reason for creation of power firms that are private to make enduring investment choices, which meet the UK’s energy requirements sufficiently, and add to the achievement of the government’s strategy on renewable energy.
However, in case, a firm with immense quality control structures and customer friendly fiscal products, such as, Tesco chose to penetrate the installation market of PV, a low charge can be realized.
The broad user purchasing, preference database, of a company of this nature can, as well, be useful in tracing prospective adopters. Thus, the installation business requires further expansion to attain essential price decreases.
Other UK incentives on renewable energies relate to cellulosic ethanol, ocean energy and artificial photosynthesis (Stangeland 2007).
So as, to develop the market share of ethanol on a large scale, radically, ethanol the UK sets the cost of energy extremely low. This is because cheap energy can be found outside the Midwest belt.
Hence, the process of converting biomass into cellulosic ethanol becomes affordable. This gets designed to supply national ethanol production alternatives, in the absence of corn.
The UK government supports technology, under feed-in tariffs (FiT), to exploit tidal and waves power, to incentivize low carbon electricity production, in small scale.
Besides, the program of feed-in tariffs (FiT) supports the adoption of artificial photosynthesis, through providing resources and materials, which may be required for research and implementation. Artificial photosynthesis entails splitting water into molecules, so as, to generate hydrogen, which can be used as a fuel.
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