2014 Britain gears up to embrace cleaner greener future

In the past couple of years, huge investments and initiates have been launched to meet the UK’s growing energy demands. Since 2012, the renewable energy capacity has increased by almost 40%, with renewables now providing over 15% of the UK’s electricity.

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) predicts that the UK’s current electricity production will end by 2020 but the electricity demand will double by 2050. To meet this exponential energy demand, it’s estimated that an investment of £110 billion is required in the next decade. A new initiative launched by the British Government in the shape of Electricity Market Reform (EMR) will be a directive that will focus on making UK a leading destination for investment in low-carbon electricity.

Richard Coackley, the URS Director of Energy Development, Environment and Natural Resources, said: “EMR is what government wants and, through the Energy Bill, it hopes to instil greater confidence in investment for low carbon electricity to counter the shortfall in generating capacity in 2020. We’re at a really exciting stage at the moment; on the cusp of rebuilding the energy sector, it’s an opportunity to do it right - to make it fit for purpose; to get the cost of electricity right and be able to compete with the world.”

In a bid to move towards a clearer energy future, the UK Government and has finalised terms with EdF energy company for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. The Hinkley project is a very high-valued proposition that is expected to kick-start UK’s nuclear programme and will help rebuild the nation’s industrial stamina. Coackley is confident that the UK has the capability and expertise to deliver this programme effectively.

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Under the new energy plans, DECC will also be investing £2.5 million in new technologies to cut costs of offshore and wind energy. The development of this new technology is vital to success of the overall plan, as it will ensure that the UK is making viable decisions to produce safe, secure and low-carbon future. The focus is on building more sustainable energy resources, such as harnessing the power of tidal and wave energy and extracting biomass energy from waste products. The UK has more offshore wind power generation capacity than any other European country. There are nearly 996 turbines that are already under construction and have a combined capacity of 2.8GW. The onshore wind turbine projects are likely to make a stronger contribution by the year 2015 to the UK’s overall energy plans.

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