Renewable Energy UK

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UK Renewable Energy: Electricity Generation and the government’s role in driving CO2 reductions.

Business & Management

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This dissertation will mainly concentrate on UK’s efforts to increase renewables’ contribution to electricity generation in the UK, which are part of a broader range of government strategies to reduce CO2 to meet global concerns and international obligations. It will also examine the forces driving the development of renewable energy market in the UK, as well as the overview of the government’s role in driving CO2 reductions. The government’s strategy on renewables includes several different elements, each attacking the problem from a different angle: mandatory regulation, information and education, technology R&D support, and establishment of market-based mechanisms.

The main findings presented will be based mainly on the literature review, expert opinions and future forecasts. A review of recent literature on this topic highlights the risk of failure due to failure of coordination among the many initiatives and government bodies involved, and the dangers of insufficient data in measuring progress. Also, they reveal the practical limitations of reliance on renewable to fulfill future electricity generation needs. The first part of the main analysis will provide an overview of the renewable energy market in the UK; it will include a summary of the current renewable energy policy and the main instruments which act as a driving forces for the development of renewables in the UK, as well as electricity market overview; second part would specifically concentrate on evaluation of whether the policies and targets set by government are efficient and achievable, the conclusion will summarize the findings and elaborate on future prospects for the renewable energy market in the UK. The available data indicates that the UK is already falling behind on its original plans for the uptake of renewable. However, government policy suggests growing awareness of the limitations of most renewables; and a consequent shift in focus away from renewables towards easier ‘bigger’ solutions such as nuclear power and carbon sequestration for coal-fired power stations.

CHAPTER 1

1.1 INTRODUCTION

"A sustainable energy future is possible, but only if we act urgently and decisively to promote, develop and deploy a full mix of energy technologies… We have the means, now we need the will…”

Claude Mandil, International Energy Agency (IEA)

In the 21st century, there has been a significant increase in energy demand due to factors such as population growth and changes in our lifestyle. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) today 86.5 % of total worldwide energy consumption is generated from fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil and coal; which are said to be non-renewable, and are the main cause for increase in green house gases and carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),

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