All You Should Know About Renewable Energy News!

A new scheme is offering thousands of businesses in the West Midlands an opportunity to reduce electricity and gas costs. By participating in a free energy audit, businesses may be eligible for match funding of up to £100,000.

Business Energy Advice Service (BEAS), first launched at a Wednesbury-based automotive manufacturer with over 500 local businesses also signed up. Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor, and Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, launched the £24 million initiative.

The initiative’s goal is to reduce energy consumption by educating workforces on energy savings and net zero goals with Lord Callahan saying: “West Midlands businesses are raring to cut their emissions and lead the region’s change to net zero. From pubs to workshops, I encourage every small business across the West Midlands to take up this free offer of advice and funding to slice their energy bills.”

The West Midlands Combined Authority and Department for Energy Security and Net Zero have teamed up with various organisations, including Warwickshire, Staffordshire, and Worcestershire County Council, to deliver BEAS.

 

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West England’s mines, which were active from the 15th century until 1973, are being examined for their potential water sources. Although they were previously utilised to produce millions of tonnes of fossil fuels, public officials are now investigating the possibility of discovering new sources of renewable energy.

Efforts to harness natural sources of energy for everyday use are already underway throughout the country. One noteworthy example of this is the Gateshead Energy Company, which is utilising warm water from below local, disused mines to provide heat and hot water to homes and businesses.

One of the most frequently asked questions is how abandoned mines can be used for renewable energy despite previously having been used to extract finite sources. Historically, mines were drained for miners to obtain coal, but when they ceased operations 50 years ago, the pumps were turned off and the mines were flooded once again. This water is heated by the earth’s core and can reach temperatures around 20C.

The Mayor of the West of England, Dan Norris had this to say: “If the cost of living crisis tells us anything, it tells us that the cost of energy is critical, not just to the poorest in our communities, but actually everybody and businesses as well. So we have got to make the cost of energy much cheaper.”

 

The cost of living is a significant concern for many in the UK, and Maisum aims to assist with finances and provide more sustainable energy solutions. By incorporating services like solar PV, EV charging, and diverse heating options, both businesses and homes can achieve substantial long-term savings.

"Primarily, we're looking to save businesses money. Any business that spends a lot on energy, we can save them an absolute fortune."

The European Union has announced a promising decrease in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, with an 8% drop in 2023 compared to 2022. Although research suggests that the pace of reduction should accelerate, this marks the lowest level of emissions in 60 years.

In terms of the steepest yearly drop, 2023 has broken the record, second to 2020, which experienced a significant decrease in CO2 emissions due to the global pause. Over half of the sharp dip in emissions can be attributed to the heightened demand and utilisation of clean electricity. Renewable energy has gained popularity among businesses and households worldwide, with a record number of solar panels and wind turbines constructed in the EU credited for substantially decreasing emissions.

In the last eight years, CO2 emissions from coal has been reduced by 50%. Here’s a look at the yearly drop off of CO2 emissions by different energy –

Coal
25%
Gas
11%
Oil
2%

According to researchers, increased investment in renewable energy technology, such as solar power, is essential in attaining CO2 emission targets, particularly, the UK’s aim of achieving a net zero society by 2050.

 

Could the world sustain itself solely on renewable energy sources?

Countries worldwide are transitioning their societies towards a fully renewable lifestyle. The significant impact of shifting away from coal, gas, oil, and nuclear energy sources on the planet is often underestimated. We are steadily moving towards a net-zero society, with various regions providing a glimpse into the future, similar to what the UK envisions.

In Portugal, they successfully powered the entire population of 10 million solely using solar, wind, and hydro energy sources. This remarkable achievement lasted for 6 days in November 2023, totalling 149 hours, surpassing the previous record of 131 hours. The previous record even saw them share part of their excess energy with Spain. As part of the Paris Agreement climate objectives, countries are required to operate their energy grids without carbon emissions throughout the year.

Their commitment to using solely renewable energy from the outset led to an early start, with a pledge for a net zero society by 2050 made back in 2016. While their focus was on onshore wind projects in the 90s, the rise of solar installations has now matched the energy generated by wind in Portugal. This significant development in renewable energy has showcased to nations worldwide that a sustainable future is within reach.

Global estimated number of renewable energy added in 2023 (in gigawatts)
0

Elsewhere, the solar industry is gaining momentum with Noor, situated in Morocco, emerging as the largest solar power plant globally. This remarkable plant positions Morocco at the forefront of cutting-edge technology for a greener world. With panels adorned with over 7000 mirrors reflecting sunlight onto a central point, heat is harnessed to generate electricity. The plant can store energy for up to 8 hours, functioning like a battery to generate electricity even after sunset. Generating 580 megawatts of power, it has the capacity to supply electricity to approximately 2.3 million households.

The extensive and ever-evolving technological progress in renewable energy underscores the importance of homes and businesses committing to going green as the next crucial step towards achieving a net-zero society.