With the polar ice caps melting, crazy weather phenomenon and increasing temperature, the signs of climate change are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore… and many people across the world are now saying enough is enough.
Individuals, businesses, and Governments are now looking for ways to stop climate change in its tracks. One of the biggest challenges for all three, however, is our current dependency on fossil fuels for energy, industry, and transportation.
One of the biggest polluters out there, fossil fuels pose a huge problem for the fight against climate change and global warming. Fossil fuels are burnt to produce energy- but also release carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases, all of which hang around and trap sun rays, reflecting them back onto the surface of the earth and increasing global temperatures.
Since the industrial revolution, the earth’s temperature has increased by 0.8 degrees and is only set to increase further if action is not taken- potential leading to increased droughts, heatwaves, and wildfires. Indeed, an overall average temperature increase of 1.5 degrees is largely considered to be the point of no return- after which we’re likely to see increasing catastrophes and ecosystem collapses. Scary stuff, right? That’s why we need viable renewable energy alternatives… and soon.
If all of the above is too doom and gloom, there is some good news. As part of the Paris agreement, 190 countries plus the European Union have confirmed their commitment to keeping global temperatures well below 2 degrees, preferably below that target of 1.5 degrees- and slashing CO2 emission in the process. To help stick to this goal, the UK has made a legally binding commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, an ambitious target that will no doubt need a lot of help from renewable energy sources.
Renewables accounted for 13.6 per cent of total energy consumption in 2020, with energy generated from fossil fuel reaching a record low. Whilst this demonstrates the great potential of the UK’s existing renewables, it also shows there’s a long way to go before we can end our dependency on fossil fuels.
So, what does the future of renewables look like? and how will this affect business energy bills?
A decade ago, wind power only contributed 4% to the UK grid. These days, however, it’s one of the most successful types of renewable energy in Britain, with an average market share of 24%. This surge in wind power usage is largely due to the concerted push for both onshore and offshore wind farms. One of the cheapest options for renewables, wind power will no doubt play an essential part in the future of renewable energy, and in helping the UK reach its target of net zero emissions by 2050. Indeed, part of the Government’s plan to become a world leader in renewable energy includes ensuring there are enough offshore wind farms to power every home in the UK by 2030.
While the English weather may not seem suited to the generation of solar energy, the potential is certainly still there. Indeed, the amount of solar energy in the national grid has risen from 0.4% to 4.5% in the last decade. Although this effort is somewhat overshadowed by the growth in wind power, there’s a quieter energy revolution happening closer to home, perhaps even on your neighbour’s roof. It’s estimated that over 970,000 UK homeowners have their own solar panels, choosing to make an investment in renewable energy to power their homes, as well as sell the excess to the national grid under the Government’s Smart Export Guarantee initiative.
In the UK, solid biomass represented around 33% of the total renewable demand in 2020. Unlike wind power which is solely used to generate electricity, biomass is used to produce both electricity and heat. It also comes in a liquid form, which can be used for transportation and represents around 6.3% of UK renewable energy. Sustainable Biomass is considered a renewable, low carbon energy source; unlike fossil fuels, they grow back quickly and take in CO2 whilst doing so. As the UK strives to meet a net-zero target, it’s estimated that sustainable biomass could meet around 10% of the UK energy demand by 2050.
Hydropower is produced from flowing water such as rivers or man-made installations such as dam. Flowing water rotates the turbine, generating energy which is captured and converted into electrical energy. In the UK, only around 2.2% of renewable energy is generated from hydropower. This makes it one of the least utilised renewables in the country. The UK currently has four pump storage projects in Wales and Scotland. Given the geography of the UK, it’s unlikely that hydropower will lead the way for renewable energy. Whilst the UK government is “looking into” expanding hydropower, it’s likely that focus will continue to be placed on wind.
Biogas or biomethane is released through anaerobic digestion, a process that occurs when food or other natural waste, such as crops or manure, biodegrades. Once it’s been processed, biogas can be used in place of natural gas. It’s considered renewable as its generated from natural material and organic matter, which takes in carbon dioxide as it grows. In the UK, biogas makes up 12% of renewables and is used to generate electricity and heat, as well as for grid injection. As part of the net-zero strategy, the government awarded £4 million in funding to 24 biomass projects across the UK.
Nuclear energy is controversial. It technically cannot be called renewable energy as it uses radioactive fuel. It is, however, a low carbon fuel as it doesn’t release any greenhouse gases. It does however produce radioactive waste that needs to be safely stored. In 2020, around 16% of the UK’s electricity came from nuclear power plants. In 2022, the UK Government reaffirmed its commitment to nuclear energy in the ‘British energy security strategy’, allocating £120 million in funding to deliver more reactors. By 2050, it is hoped that around 25% of the UK’s electricity will come from nuclear power.
As part of the Government’s strategy to decrease emissions and pollution, the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned by 2030. As more people look for ways to reduce their carbon foot and future-proof their purchases, the uptake of electric cars is steadily increasing. At the end of 2020, there were around 470,000 battery EVs on the road- a number that will no doubt only increase as the 2030 ban approaches. To support this transition, the EV charging infrastructure across the UK needs some serious TLC- with the Government issuing a number of grant opportunities, such as the Workplace Charging Scheme, to increase the number of charging points available for both domestic and commercial use.
When you opt for a green tariff from a supplier, your business is not actually receiving purely green energy- you’ll get a share of energy from the national grid. Yet green tariffs still play a vital role in protecting the environment- they increase the overall percentage of green energy on the national grid itself.
Indeed, when you opt for a green tariff, your supplier is obligated to match some or all of the energy you use with renewable energy, feeding it back into the country’s supply. So every green tariff a business purchases helps to increase the proportion of green energy on the national grid.
If your business is looking to do its bit for the environment and to help the UK meet its net-zero target by 2050, why not switch to a green tariff? We understand that your main focus will no doubt be on the cost to your business.
If you’re worried about the extra cost of a green tariff, you’re not the only one. 34%* of people have concerns that their bills will be more expensive if they switch tariffs, with 40%* of people actively avoiding a green tariff because it wasn’t the cheapest one available. With this in mind, it’s only natural to wonder how it will affect your bills.
While green energy was once on the fringes of the energy sector, it’s quickly becoming a mainstream alternative to fossil fuels. Thanks to this increased popularity, many green energy suppliers can now match the prices of fossil fuel providers, providing a cleaner alternative to your current supplier.
Even if you find that your greener tariff is slightly more expensive, here at Tariff.com, we know all the tricks of the trade to help you meet both your savings and environmental goals. Whether that’s taking advantage of Government schemes and grants or helping you to optimise your energy usage, we make it our mission to help you achieve the savings your business needs.
If you’re considering switching to a greener tariff, get in touch with Tariff.com today. Our team of energy consultants can answer all the questions you have about green energy, ensuring that you have all the information at your fingertips so you can make the right decisions for your business.
If you’re all about the numbers, and simply want to know if a green tariff is a smart financial choice for you, submit your current energy bills today. Our team will do what we do best and compare the green tariffs available, giving the best quote we can find for your business.
If you do decide to switch suppliers, our team will take care of the rest, managing the admin and hassle that can often come with switching suppliers and allowing you to sit back and enjoy your savings in money and emissions.
At Tariff.com, we’ve made it our mission to help businesses make a positive change for the future. Climate change is an issue that affects us all and business leaders have an obligation to join the fight.
Whether you’re looking to switch to a green tariff, manage your energy usage or reach a net-zero goal, our consultants are here to support you and your business.
If your business is looking to start its green journey, get in touch with the Tariff.com team today. Our friendly consultant can provide all the information and guidance you need to take your business to net-zero.
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