Many countries continue to embrace renewable energy, with the United States, China, and the United Kingdom among those that have increased their reliance on new and renewable sources of power.
According to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects, renewable sources of energy such as solar power, wind, hydropower, and biomass made up 55.7 percent of the recently installed US electrical generation capacity for the first half of the year. The said office came up with the Energy Infrastructure Update which reported that renewable energy provided 1,965 MW of the 3,529 MW in total electricity installed thus far for 2014. Solar power accounted for almost a third of the US electrical generation capacity for 2014 with 1,131 MW of energy, representing 32.1 percent of the 3,528 MW installed for the year. Next was power with 699 MW, then biomass with 87 MW, and hydropower with 16MW.
The number of renewable energy projects has been on the rise in the United States. From the start of 2012, renewable energy projects have provided nearly half of the US electrical generation capacity totalling 47,446 MW. If numbers from 2011 are also taken into consideration, renewable energy projects have accounted for more electricity (31,345 MW) compared to natural gas (29,176 MW) and even coal (8,235 MW).
United Kingdom on Renewable Energy
The United Kingdom has also followed the footsteps of other developed nations in the use of renewable energy sources. The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change recently reported that the use of renewable energy in the country has more than double in the past four years. It adds that 15 percent of electricity in the nation now comes from renewable sources of energy like solar, hydro, and wind. The robust growth of the renewable energy sector in the UK is credited to the immense investments that the country made in clean energy sources. In 2013, UK made a record £8 billion in investments for renewable energy.
According to UK energy and climate change official Edward Davey, the strong renewable sector in the country has helped reduce the costs of importing energy. It has also improved the energy security in the country, address the issue of climate change, and create new jobs. The department also announced last week that it would be able to gain an annual budget increase of £200 million starting in late 2014 as part of efforts to overhaul the UK electricity market. The UK renewable energy sector is also eyed to provide an estimated 250,000 new jobs by the turn of the new decade.
China’s Renewable Energy
The world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gas, China, has also been active in the renewable energy front. Experts forecast that with China’s investment of $56.3 million on renewables last year, the country is on its way to the production of electricity generated mainly by clean energy projects.
China has not been shy about its goal which is to generate a good portion of its energy from renewable sources. It was recently reported that China could have 80 percent renewable power by the year 2050.