The renewable energy mix

Swansea Bay tidal lagoon wall

In these blogs I like to maintain a positive solution focused approach to the world’s problems. As my last blog was about the folly of fracking it’s time to write another blog about the sources of energy humanity could use. When I talk about the goal of 100% renewable energy for electricity, heating and transport many British people are incredulous; they see it as an impossible dream. Yet for many people, communities and some countries it is now a clear and attainable policy objective. I’ve often used the German word Energiewende in this blog to describe this 100% renewables policy.

Wind and sun are obviously variable and intermittent sources of energy. Sceptics of renewables often ask what happens on those still, cold, dark evenings when neither the sun nor wind is available. Various forms of renewable gas will have a big role to play. I’ve blogged about wood chip gasification and anaerobic digestion that already form the basis of the energy use in Gussing, Austria. There are many other technologies, both existing and in development, that will have a role to play. There is a link below to an excellent video that explains the Danish approach to renewables in general and the various forms of renewable gas in particular.

Tidal energy will also be a vital part of the future UK energy mix. I last blogged about this in April 2010. There is currently a very exciting proposal for the UK’s first commercial scale tidal lagoon. It is planned for Swansea Bay, would cost £650 million and generate 240MW electricity, which is roughly enough energy for 120,000 homes. This is exactly the kind of project we should be developing in the UK, rather than sinking money into the disaster that is fracking.

For more on 100% renewables

Excellent 17 minute video on renewable gas and Danish energy model

The Danish electrical and gas grids are a single non-profit organization delivering a sensible and coherent energy model, unlike the British chaotic system of private companies and government bodies floundering about without any clear long term policy objectives.

Swansea tidal project and great 5 minute project film and the image at top of this blog is of the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon wall.