Thursday, October 8, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 8th October 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

If you are green at heart you will be delighted to learn this week that renewable energy has, for the first time, generated more electricity than coal for a whole quarter. This means that between April and June, wind, solar and bioenergy have provided 25% of our electricity.

The extra performance this year as opposed to last year, when renewables generated 16.4% of the electricity for the same period, was attributed to there being more wind and sun but also to more turbines and solar panels being installed. Gas fired power stations contributed the most generation with 30%; renewables came second, nuclear third with 21.5% and coal at the bottom with 20.5%. Coal is, of course, the most polluting fuel, producing twice the carbon dioxide emissions of gas with nuclear and renewables being the cleanest.

This information was released in government statistics and comes in a week when they have been greatly criticised for reducing support for renewable energy. Our new Conservative government has argued that renewable energy subsidies have been rising too fast and has announced plans to cut support for solar power by 87% and to end subsidy for onshore wind farms – just when renewables are becoming much more competitive and the industry is growing.

It would appear that our government would rather go ahead with subsidies and plans for more nuclear power which will not be available for at least 10 years, instead of more renewables, which, in the case of solar is virtually instant.

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