The Content Coms view: Wind & solar combine to build UK renewables revolution


It’s official; this month – June 2017 – the UK set a new renewable energy record as wind and solar power surged.

The Telegraph broke the news, saying the blustery start to summer has helped the renewable energy industry to its highest ever output, as wind turbines and solar panels helped to meet more than half of the UK’s electricity demand.

It’s a telling reminder you don’t necessarily need the blinding sun of recent days for panels to do their work. Revolutions take place quietly most of the time.

Either way, the news is a truly astonishing result, and coupled with last year’s confirmations that the world as a whole has decoupled growth from carbon emissions, looks set to truly confound sceptics of renewable and low carbon technologies.

And of course, it makes yet more of a mockery of President Trump’s fossil-based repudiation of Paris. His idiocy now stands proven by the truth of what renewables can do, powering over half of one of the world’s important economies; the UK.

In fact, soon we will be calling oil the energy alternative, and renewables the mainstream.

The renewables revolution in numbers

According to the Telegraph, National Grid’s data showed that on the fateful day, solar panels produced around 7.6GW of electricity while wind farms generated 9.5GW of power.

In addition, the UK burnt 2GW of renewable biomass, made from waste wood, and produced a modest amount of hydro electricity to help squeeze traditional power plants off the system.

The record 19.3GW output of renewable energy was enough to meet more than 50% of midday power demand, which reached 35.4GW.

The National Grid control room added this is the first time renewable energy and nuclear power have together produced more power than gas and coal plants combined.

Supply and demand; the UK’s tricky future

The Telegraph’s article also notes the renewables boom caused market prices to fall into negative territory, and prompted National Grid to make payments to major energy users to use more power so that the grid wasn’t overwhelmed by supply.

Balancing the grid correctly is going to be essential to making the very most of what renewables can contribute.

As such, we have to look at renewables and low carbon tech, such as energy efficiency, energy storage and demand response solutions, as the partners which together will lead to a fossil-free UK.

“The numbers on renewables are compelling,” comments Joanna Watchman, our Managing Director at Content Coms.

“But they also show how we must update and deliver better infrastructure to enable the longer term switch off of fossil power to run smoothly. No one technology has the answer. A suite of solutions will lead us off our fossil fuel addiction and into a more enlightened age.

At Content Coms, we’re experts in energy marketing. We’d be delighted to talk about any communications challenges you might have on low carbon, fossil fuels and grid balancing issues. Give us a call today.


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