The United Kingdom has just released data which highlights that their renewable energy use has officially surpassed their coal dependency, and now accounts for a monumental 25% of their energy use. With so much momentum around the development of green infrastructure, there are still many worries about the UK’s government cutting funding directed towards subsidies for renewable resources. UK leadership is attempting to drastically cut solar panel funding 87%, with additional plans to terminate any funding towards on-shore wind farms.
Presently, the UK is leading the charge on wind power, by producing over 28 TWH annually. This energy is responsible for powering 6.7 million homes on a daily basis – it is difficult to see what will happen as subsidies are slashed and projects cease to get funded.
In response, last Thursday, Al Gore, former US Vice President, heavily criticized the UK and urged them not to kill off a budding market which has served as the centerpiece of the necessities of strong government support in developing a market for green infrastructure. Furthermore, this government slashing could not come at a more crucial time. With a UN meeting in Paris centralized around forming a global greenhouse emissions agreement, the UK was supposed to be the model for an effective system.
UK has responded to concerns, by saying that they plan on building a nuclear power plant named Hinkley Point C, which numbers have shown, will considerably raise the cost of electricity for its constituencies. What began as a £16 billion project has soared to a whopping £24 billion, with construction at a standstill. The more concerning aspect of this project is that, Finland and France have both taken on the monstrous nuclear plant projects as well, and are 3 and 5 years behind respectively. Particularly troubling is UK’s shift from a progressive attitude towards green infrastructure towards an enormous nuclear energy project. Currently the global energy usage is comprised of 22% renewable resources and 11% nuclear power, with nuclear power dependency steadily declining, and renewable energy dependency steadily increasing.
Are we to believe that the UK will continue to back step, allowing nuclear energy to take precedence in their country? A country considered as one of the front runners of green technology.