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Renewable energy in the UK


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Find out about renewable energy consumption in the UK, one of the targets for the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Published in: Environment
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Renewable energy in the UK

  1. 1. Renewable energy in the UK A look at renewable energy consumption in the UK, one of the targets for the Sustainable Development Goals
  2. 2. Renewable energy sources are... Forms of energy that won’t run out if we use them
  3. 3. While overall energy consumption has gone down since 1990, the proportion of energy from renewable sources has risen substantially Source: UK environmental accounts: 2017 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 '15'14'13'12'11'10'09'08'07'06'05'04'03'02'01'00'99'98'97'96'95'94'93'92'91'90 Renewable energy directive target is 15% by 2020 Renewable sources and waste % from renewables year
  4. 4. Most of the renewable energy we consume comes from wood, wind/wave/tidal, and burning rubbish Source: UK environmental accounts: 2017 Landfill gas 9% Municipal solid waste (rubbish) 12% Wood 35% Wind, wave, tidal 20% Other 24% (Solar photovoltaic, Biogas, Biodiesel, Hydroelectric power, Biomass, Bioethanol, Straw, Sewage gas, Poultry litter, Charcoal, Liquid bio-fuels, Geothermal aquifers) 2015
  5. 5. But not all renewables are emission-free... Producing energy from wood creates harmful pollutants like particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10)
  6. 6. PM10 is a tenth of the width of a human hair. PM2.5 is even smaller! So small, it can enter into the lungs and bloodstream These particles are carcinogenic and can cause premature death
  7. 7. In 2015 nearly a third of PM2.5 emissions in the UK were from burning wood Source: Particulate Matter Emissions 2015 PM10 25% from wood 75% from other sources PM2.5 32% from wood 68% from other sources
  8. 8. Moving forward... There is a strong drive to tackle the growing problem of emissions in the UK What is the UK doing?
  9. 9. 1. Reducing local air pollution There have been calls for a ban on wood-burning stoves, to help lower pollution levels and tackle air quality in London This is a small contributor to the UK as a whole, but significant for local air pollution
  10. 10. 2. Creating a Clean Air Strategy This will be published in 2018 It will set out plans to meet international commitments in reducing emissions of air pollutants by 2020 and 2030
  11. 11. 3. Growing sustainably The Clean Growth Strategy sets out a plan for growing the UK economy while cutting greenhouse gas emissions
  12. 12. About Sustainable Development Goals The UK committed to the Sustainable Development Goals in 2016, along with 192 other UN member states These countries all committed to work towards ending hunger and poverty, halting climate change and reducing inequalities
  13. 13. What is the UK doing to meet these goals? The UK’s first publication around Sustainable Development Goals was released in November 2017 We’re publishing a series of outputs that look at some of the major goals, and how the UK is performing in meeting them
  14. 14. Keep in touch Have a look at our Sustainable Development Goal reporting tool: For more information, visit our website