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The Future of Renewable Energy

By David Holmes on July 22, 2009

co2 emissionsThe Government has recently published plans to considerably reduce the UK’s carbon footprint within the next forty years or so. Under the Low Carbon Transition Plan, by 2050 the UK ought to have curtailed its emission of harmful greenhouse gases by a massive 80%.

Moreover, this is a staggered target containing earlier milestones that should be reached, such as a 34% reduction of fossil fuel burning by the year 2020.

Whether these plans are sufficient to halt the charge of global warming remains questionable, and although the targets outlined appear good on paper in practice they may come a little late. Furthermore, UK plans to reduce greenhouse emissions can only be of significant benefit to the planet if other nations adopt similar, or more aggressive, targets.

Nevertheless, the Government’s renewable energy targets are highly commendable and it is estimated that some 400,000 new jobs would be created in order to meet the targets, which is good news for a struggling economy.

Specifically, the Low Carbon Transition Plan will aim for 40% of electricity to derive from renewable energy sources, which may include solar panels for widespread domestic use in addition to a greater emphasis on nuclear power. Indeed, there will be cash incentives for households that are able to generate its own energy, notwithstanding the fact that doing so means reduced energy bills.

The Government also plans for more efficient central heating systems to be installed in homes across the UK and for smart electricity meters to be introduced everywhere by 2020. This will have the effect of making homes more energy efficient, which is an aim that might just be achieved on the back of the Government’s pledged £3.2 billion investment.