Working for a niche energy recruitment company who are getting more involved in renewable and sustainable energy, I have gained an in-depth understanding as to the immediate direction of the UK energy industry. I have spent the past 6 months conversing with both British and European renewable energy experts and the speed in which the UK is turning towards renewables is startling, and may catch some by surprise.
In 2016, nearly 90% of all new power added to Europe’s electricity grids came from a renewable energy source. As you can see from this statistic, our intrinsic dependency on fossil fuels is reducing rapidly, but will the switch to renewables be fast enough to satiate our energy needs as oil and gas reserves dwindle?
The EU is investing heavily in renewable energy production, research and development, but Britain’s bold Brexit decision may impact the pace of our renewable energy advances, as well as driving up prices if we need to import non-renewable energy. Here in the UK, we are currently meeting 30% of our vast energy requirements through renewable sources – mostly onshore and offshore windfarms – but we still have a long way to go before we can consider ourselves a green, self-sustainable country; yet we are pushing ourselves into a position where this may have to be the case in order to maintain our quality of life.
I am currently working with a number of companies focused entirely on renewable energy, but the funding and focus isn’t yet where it should be – we have backed ourselves into a corner, and we need to react.
Renewable energy is already starting to become cheaper to produce than fossil fuel sources, and I predict the UK focus is going to swing aggressively towards renewables, and probably much faster than expected due to the added pressure Brexit will put on the British energy economy.
As for myself, I am excited by the push towards more sustainable energy sources, which we desperately need for the sake of our planet, and will be doing my bit to support this push towards renewables, by helping mobilise the workforce we are going to need to make this happen.