It is easy to be drawn into the doom and gloom of Climate Change warnings, and even to go so far as to feel nagged by the rhetoric surrounding it. Between helpful articles reminding us of the things we can do as individuals, and what we need to do to make our voice heard as a society, one can feel overwhelmed and perhaps even just guilty for not participating as much as.
Here’s the thing: everything your voice is doing, all that your eco-conscious habits are affecting, is working.
There were some concerns with current political climates that policies involving environmental welfare might be pushed to the sidelines, or be eliminated at all, especially after the US’s election of President Trump to office which resulted in the US’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement in 2017. Brexit has certainly been on the list of worries when it comes to environmental policies, and anxieties about which have heightened amidst the ‘no-deal Brexit fears.’
However, in an article by Talal Husseini of Power-Technology, the UK is faring just fine with its use of renewable resources. ‘The UK renewable energy capacity has surpassed fossil fuels for the first time, which is being described as a ‘major milestone’ for the industry, despite fears that a no-deal Brexit could de-stabilise the power sector.’
Husseini writes that 57% of Britain’s energy was generated via renewable energy sources (though it should be noted that these renewable sources do include nuclear sites). ‘Renewable energy capacity has grown in the UK from 19.5GW in 2013 to 41.9GW currently, while fossil fuels’ capacity has fallen by one-third.’
While this does sound like good news, some of this is just due to process. The article also articulates that this is due to some powerplants just having outlived their lifespan and shutting down. However, it is a step to urge polities and investments in the right direction.
Adam Vaughan of The Guardian also reported on the increase of renewable energy in the UK, reporting that ‘Coal operators have been affected by the UK’s carbon tax on electricity generation, as well as competition from gas, though they have enjoyed a recent fillip from high gas prices.’
The UK’s drive toward renewable energy is in a constant state of out-doing itself. From the windfarms in Scotland to the coast of Colwyn Bay, and south to the London Array off Kent, to the newest addition off the coast of Cumbria, which boasts to be the world’s largest, according to Tom Barnes of The Independent. This new farm is projected to fuel 600,000 homes. ‘Britain is considered to be the best location to generate wind power in Europe and the UK is the sixth highest producer of the renewable energy source in the world,’ writes Burnes.
Not only are policies coming into play, and the country shelling out the funds to produces these windfarms, but a study reveals that home owners want to be a part of the change as well. The YouGov survey for Client Earth found that 62% of homeowners would like to install solar panels, 60% would like to install some form of renewable energy for their home, and 71% ‘would be interested in joining a community energy scheme if government support was there.’ Unfortunately, these results come at a time when the government decided to cut subsidised funding for green energy by 2019.
We have a long way to go, but we are finally going in the right direction. The fight doesn’t stop here, and we must continue to make our voices heard. The competition for innovative technology for energy storage is excelling our creativity toward a cleaner world, and it is because there is a demand for it. As long as we continue to demand, and demand loudly, then we might just have a chance at producing a completely green future.