When it comes to wind energy, the good outweighs the bad
As Energy Digital’s sister site Business Review Australia recently wrote, the Australian government put an end to its $10 billion renewable energy fund to invest in the industry. Aussie wind farming has reached a large hurdle and has made it more difficult than ever for wind developers to do business.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) was recently terminated by Aussie Prime Minister Tony Abbott in an attempt to reduce the pressure on power prices to keep it as low as possible. This also includes solar power technology such as rooftop panels that generate up to 100 kilowatts of power.
RELATED TOPIC: [INFOGRAPHIC] The wonderful world of wind energy
Some of the drawbacks to wind farms include loud noise, possible threat to wildlife and unpredictability of when and where large amounts of wind will strike. Also, the best wind sites are usually located in isolated areas and far from the major cities where electricity is needed most.
Although some agree with the need to crackdown on wind power, many still support the idea.
Wind energy is among the fastest-growing energy sources in the world due to its several advantages. It’s a clean, sustainable form of energy that doesn’t emit pollution and is able to be harnessed as long as the sun shines and the wind blows.
RELATED TOPIC: Top 10 States Using Wind Power for Electricity
With a large amount of money, environmental benefits and jobs tied to wind energy, it appears Australia is one of the few nations around the globe that isn’t fully embracing the opportunity.
In addition, wind power is also one of the cheapest renewable energy technologies. Depending on the wind source and the financing of a particular project, wind energy cost between four and six center per kilowatt-hour. Recent reports have also revealed wind energy is the cheapest energy source for reducing carbon emissions.
The United States leads the world in wind energy use and is applying it now more than ever before, as the country looks to free itself from dependence on foreign oil. India is second with about five percent of its energy being supplied by wind power generation, and that percentage continues to increase every year.
RELATED TOPIC: Top 10 Offshore Wind Farms in the World
Meanwhile, Germany ranks third and is the top country in green energy. As Energy Digital previously wrote in its Top 10 wind turbine suppliers, the German companies Enercon and Siemens are third and fourth respectively behind Vestas (Denmark) and Goldwind (China).
Advances in technology have allowed the world to transition to clean energy without having a complete drop off in reliability or affordability. Mixing wind energy into the electricity industry can help both the environment as well as consumers’ pockets.
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.