White Paper Examines UK's Renewable Energy Options in the Light of Rising Demand and an Aging Infrastructure .
LONDON, PRNewswire [WorldofRenewables.com]
A new white paper titled Energy: it’s the heat, stupid! recognises heat as a valuable commodity with its own market. The paper examines the energy requirements of the UK and looks into possible renewable options. It concludes that developing renewable heat in particular would help meet rising UK energy demands and help replace an aging energy infrastructure. Large-scale renewable heat production, such as heat produced by geothermal plants, can be achieved with focused government support, and the resulting supply will be essential to safeguarding Britain’s energy future.
The white paper, written by James Woudhuysen, visiting professor of forecasting and innovation at De Montfort University, Leicester, and sponsored by Geothermal Engineering Ltd, emphasises the UK’s current demand for heat. In the 1970s, the average British household was a relatively cool 12 degrees C. Now, the average household is heated to 18 degrees C and a rising population has increased the number of homes demanding more heating. Overall demand for heat in Britain is more than 900 terawatt hours per year, or the equivalent of heating approximately 190 million homes.
The white paper examines the current and future potential of the major types of renewable energy in the UK and looks at issues such as:
– The UK’s vulnerabilities in energy supply. Fears about the availability of Russian gas are overdone; delays in the building of new nuclear reactors, on the other hand, are probably underestimated – Renewable heat holds the medium-term promise of lower energy bills, as well as the immediate reality of local independence from shortages of gas, electricity or oil, reducing risk and emissions at the same time – Renewable electricity sources can help bolster energy supply, and the electricity they generate can be used for heating; but not all renewable options can provide power 24/7, and this intermittency will require a much stronger electricity grid – The UK’s aging energy infrastructure, coupled with likely increases in demand for energy, puts the country at risk of power cuts if nothing is done
James Woudhuysen, author of the white paper, says: “The UK is pursuing too few renewable energy options and projecting totally unrealistic timeframes for national projects such as new off-shore wind farms. We need investment in a broader palette of energy options to meet future demand for energy, and the government needs to recognise that sooner rather than later.”
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced a Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme in February this year. Ryan Law, Managing Director of Geothermal Engineering Ltd, the company planning the UK’s first commercial-scale geothermal power plant, says: “The UK government has started to take renewable heat seriously, but we have some considerable catching-up to do in a very short period of time. Germany, for example, has been building up renewable heat supplies for years and this development is heavily supported by their government. The UK has good untapped geothermal resources which could provide low-cost heat for towns, hospitals or schools, but we need our government’s support to make it happen.”
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Distributed by PR Newswire on behalf of Geothermal Engineering Ltd.