Spain revealed this week for the first time ever most electricity in the country was generated in 2013 by wind power. And high rainfall levels generated a 12% increase in hydro-electric power compared with the historical average.
Portugal reports over 70 % of electricity during the first quarter last year was produced by renewable energy sources with a surge in wind and hydro output. In more northern climes in Germany wind and solar energy produced 60% of peak time electricity on October 3rd 2013.
The UK lags behind with 15.5% of the nation’s electricity produced by green energy sources during the second quarter of 2013. The EU aims to get 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
Locally in Worthing we have the proposed Rampion offshore windfarm with both its supporters and opponents. The final final deadline for submissions to The Planning Inspectorate was a minute to midnight last night (Saturday January 18th). Now a report will be produced within three months to put a recommendation to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State has a further three months to make a decision. Worthing Daily awaits that decision with interest.
Yet a totally different direction has arisen on the horizon – back to fossil fuels which were the bad boys until fairly recently. Worries about ‘peak oil’ or oil running out have evaporated as the US shale oil revolution has been game changing. But environmentalists warn continued burning of fossil fuels will increase global temperatures to critical and dangerous levels. In their view oil reserves are already far in excess of what can be safely used – developing more is the very definition of adding fuel to the fire.
The UK government is now offering a ‘bribe’ to councils to allow extraction of shale oil in their area to increase those reserves – including the notorious fracking process. West Sussex County Council will be allowed to keep 100% of business rates they collect from shale gas sites and a further 1% of revenues if shale gas is discovered. But is this something we really want? Worthing Daily would like to know your views.
Is fracking the answer or is the answer blowing in the wind?
Let us know.