Future energy requirements for the UK
The way our electricity is produced in the next decade will alter dramatically. Existing coal fired power stations are gradually being decommissioned and nuclear plants are being closed down. The Government is legally bound to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 (based on 1990 levels). By 2020 the UK is committed to produce up to 15% of our electricity from renewable sources. Currently it is about 10%. Projects such as Coombeshead solar PV farm will make a small but significant step towards this target.
Renewables can also reduce our dependence on fuel imports. Historically, with domestic coal production and North Sea oil and gas, the UK has been self-sufficient for its energy needs. This has changed dramatically over the past 15 years. We will soon have to import more fuel (from the Middle East, Russia, North Africa, Norway) than we produce. Since solar farms don’t need fuel, they can reduce our dependence. Already today, solar in the UK produces enough electricity for 450,000 households.
You may also want to read the following article which is a BBC interview with the Head of OFGEM in regards to the country’s future energy needs and where our supplies will come from.