2018 record-breaking year for UK offshore wind
According to data published by Renewable UK, 2018 has been a record year for new offshore wind capacity installed in the UK.
This year, more than 2GW worth of offshore wind farms became operational in UK waters, with a total of eight new facilities opening.
This breaks the previous record set in 2012, when a total of 1,154MW capacity was installed versus a total for 2018 of 2,121MW. However, the number of turbines rose by just 8% in that time – with 367 turbines installed this year, compared to 309 in 2012. This shows that overall turbines are producing a lot more energy than they were six years ago.
Emma Pinchbeck, executive director of Renewable UK, commented on the data, stating that the company was “thrilled” to see the UK install so much new renewable energy capacity.
“This is just the beginning of the great shift to renewables,” she said. “By 2030, offshore wind could be generating more than a third of the UK’s entire electricity needs, with 30GW up and running.”
Pinchbeck stated that over the next 10 years, the industry is set to bring £48bn into the UK and employ 27,000 skilled workers.
“Offshore wind has brought the UK jobs, lower bills and renewable energy. It’s offering even more to the UK in the anticipated offshore wind sector deal, which the government has said it wants to finalise by Christmas,” she added.
According to the Offshore Wind Journal, the capacity installed in the UK this year is enough to power more than 2.3mn homes.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.