Germany creates enough clean power in six months to power households for a year
In the first half of 2018, Germany generated enough renewable energy to power every single house in the country for an entire year.
Between January and June this year, the nation created 104bn kWh of renewable energy – this includes energy from wind, solar, biomass, and hydroelectric sources.
The figures are a 9.5% rise form the same period of the previous year, and a third higher than three years ago, the Independent reported.
The news was announced by E.ON, the European energy firm based in Essen, Germany.
“This shows how renewables become increasingly important for our energy supply,” said Victoria Ossadnik, Head of E.On Energie Deutschland, the Independent continued.
From the 104bn kWh, wind power accounted for almost 53% by generating 55bn kWh.
Solar produced 21bn kWh, or 20.2% of the nation’s renewable energy mix, whilst 20bn kWh came from biomass and 8bn kWh from hydroelectric power.
The first half of this year marks the first time Germany has produced more than 100bn kWh of renewable energy in six months.
In 2017, renewable power contributed to 36% of the country’s energy mix. The new figures reflect recent investments in clean power from Germany, and well as weather conditions.
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.