Queen visits turbine manufacturing facility in Hull
The Queen of the UK made a visit to an offshore wind turbine blade factory in Kingston upon Hull.
The Siemens Gamesa factory has been in operation for over a year now and has produce more than 200 turbine blades, each measuring 75m long.
The manufacturing facility is located at Alexandra Dock, and employs over 700 workers.
Within the lifetime of the Queen the UK’s energy habits have dramatically changed; when Queen Elizabeth II was born 97% of the UK’s power was generated by coal, whereas in 2016 more than 50% is fuelled by low-carbon sources.
“The Queen's visit sends a powerful signal of just how far the UK's offshore wind industry has come, and that it is a key part of the energy mainstream,” reported Hugh McNeal, RenewableUK’s Chief Executive.
“The apprentices who welcomed Her Majesty to Siemens Gamesa’s state-of-the-art factory in Hull are great examples of the tens of thousands of British people now working in our world-leading sector, including its flourishing supply chain.”
“During her reign, the Queen has seen some of the most profound changes in our nation’s history, and our awareness of the importance of taking practical action to protect our environment by switching to renewable energy is a prime example of this.”
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.