The Renewable Energy Roadmap, the first of its kind in the UK, is set to accelerate the deployment and use of renewable energy in the UK. It plans to put us on ‘path to achieve our 2020 target’ while focusing on the matters that are of interest to the consumer such as delivering long term change with minimum cost. The 107 page document identifies eight technologies that have the potential to help the UK meet its target of sourcing 15% of its electricity from renewable sources.
‘The Government’s Electricity Market Reform White Paper, published alongside this Roadmap, sets out our reforms to the separate Great Britain and Northern Ireland markets for all forms of electricity generation. Reform will ensure that low-carbon electricity from a diverse range of sources - not just renewables - becomes a more attractive choice for investors, delivering long-term change while minimising cost to the consumer,’ says the department of climate change.
Because renewable energy isn’t just about electricity; the focus has moved onto the heat, wind and biomass technologies such as solar thermal and heat pumps. These have actually been around a lot longer than the popular solar PV, however because the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has taken some time to establish itself, the demand for these aren’t quite as high…yet.
There has been a real global appetite for solar PV and since the UK launched the Feed-in-Tariff in April last year, the interest in this technology has grown because of the sheer benefits available. The incentive for solar power has been supported by the Renewable Obligation which protects the incentive once it has been reviewed from 2013-2017.
A report published by Ernst & Young 2011 reveals the uptake of the scheme and states that by the end of May 2011 ‘nearly 38,000 solar PV installations in Great Britain were receiving support through the Feed-in Tariff’ which shows how popular this technology has become. Considering the impact solar PV and other solar technologies and how they contributed to the 2020 target so far, It was quite surprising to read that solar PV was left of the list of technologies.
The Renewable Roadmap clearly outlines ways to promote other technologies focuses on these particular 8 technologies that the government feel have the most potential to help the UK meet its 2020 targets in the most cost effective and sustain way.
• On shore Wind
• Offshore Wind
• Marine Energy
• Biomass Electricity
• Biomass Heat
• Ground and Air Source Heat Pumps
• Renewable Transport
Creating actions for these key technologies will allow the UK drive the cost of deploying these energies down, whilst enabling them to mature so that medium to long-term they will not need additional support to compete with other low carbon technologies.
For those that are most interested in training to installer renewable heat, this new financial strategy should encourage installation of equipment like heat pumps and biomass, reducing emissions and helping support of 150,000 jobs in the UK’s heating industry. The renewable energy industry already employs more than a quarter of a million people and by the time we reach 2020, that number could reach to over half a million. This industry has created news jobs within the sector and given indirect support and benefits to sustain this new green economy. This journey has been heavily measured and the UK Renewable Energy Roadmap has deployed a wide range of renewables to help the government meet their 2020 target.
• Even though we are starting from a low level the UK can meet the target to deliver 15% of the UK’s energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020 through domestic deployment. Recent ‘bottom-up’ analysis, based on industry inputs, suggests that there is significant upside potential and downside risk to deployment;
• Based on current information, and taking account of their long term potential as well as their cost effectiveness, 8 technologies are capable of delivering more than 90% of the renewable energy we estimate is required by 2020;
• The pipeline of renewable electricity projects is healthy. Although, allowing for historic dropout rates27, it puts us on track to deliver approximately 29 GW of capacity by 2020, significant uncertainties remain and we still urgently need new renewable projects to come forward to ensure we meet the 15% target and longer term carbon reduction targets;
• The pipeline for renewable heat projects is less well developed but following the introduction of the world’s first incentive for renewable heat could deliver up to an additional 100,000 heat pumps and an additional 24,000 biomass heat28installations by 2020;
• Road transport biofuels are proposed to increase to 5% of road transport fuels by 2014. Subject to the results of current consultations, Government will come forward with options in Spring 2012 to stimulate further growth in renewable transport for the period after 2014;
• Costs of renewable energy technologies are currently high and uncertain but are expected to fall over time as supply chains develop, technical challenges