6 things to know about renewables right now
If you’re exploring a career in renewables, here are the 6 key things you need to know about how the UK’s renewable energy sectors are developing right now.
Driven by global net zero targets and the energy price crisis, the UK renewables market is flourishing. Some sectors are powering ahead, while others have been slower to get off the ground. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Renewables are critical to our future; the industry can only grow
The UK has made a legally-binding pledge to slash its carbon emissions by 68 per cent by 2030. By 2050, the government plans to achieve 0% carbon emissions, or ‘carbon zero’.
It will hit these targets through a number of means, all involving renewable technologies – like electric cars and homes which rely more heavily on solar panels or ground source heat pumps to supply power.
2. On-shore wind is slow, but off-shore continues to boom
Wind power forms a significant part of the Net Zero plan. But opposition from local communities to windmills led to a ban on large-scale onshore wind farms. Off-shore wind power is booming, though.
In fact, the UK leads in offshore wind, generating 10 per cent of the country’s energy and 35% of the world’s wind capacity. It’s a huge industry already, and it’s continuing to grow; 80 new projects are currently underway or in the pipeline, from the North Sea to the outer Thames estuary.
3. Ground source heat pumps are thriving
As part of the government’s plan for new homes to get a higher percentage of their energy from renewables, demand for ground source heat pumps is soaring.
A target of 600,000 annual installations by 2028 is set, and HVAC professionals are switching to careers in renewables to take up demand. If you’re considering a renewable energy career, ground source heat pumps are your best starting point.
4. Solar is spreading
Like ground source heat pumps, solar PV will make homes more sustainable and efficient to run. By 2030, 42,000 people will be working in solar energy. New build homes are now required to get a percentage of their energy from solar, but consumers are demanding it, too.
The price of solar panels has dropped dramatically in recent years. Increasingly environmentally-conscious homeowners are now incorporating it into their plans to reduce energy bills. In the first few months of this year alone, over 60,000 panels were installed across the UK.
5. Hydroelectric is on the rise… but it’s slow
Hydropower has existed in the UK for decades, with large-scale plants in the Scottish Highlands and Wales generating almost 5,000 MW capacity.
It’s still a relatively small industry, however. Only 2% of the UK’s renewables power comes from hydroelectric energy. But investment into small-scale hydro projects is increasing, with new projects being developed across the UK.
6. Energy storage will need more technicians
Generating power is useless without being able to store and distribute it, hence the huge growth of the UK’s energy storage sector. Right now,there are over 200 large-scale energy storage sites throughout the country, with more being added this year.
This demand is naturally creating a rapidly-expanding jobs market, not only on a large-scale but with battery storage and EV charging points on a residential basis.Technicians and installers are increasingly in demand.
If you’re working in a similar industry and are considering switching to a more sustainable,rewarding career, we can help. Get in touch with A&D today.