Historically, the UK has depended on fossil fuels to generate energy. The problem? Not only are these finite resources, so will eventually run out, but burning fossil fuels is damaging to human health and our environment.
Coal supplies a third of energy worldwide. Yet burning coal to produce electricity generates carbon dioxide emissions that are said to be the most significant source of the global temperature increase. While the UK has dramatically decreased its dependency on coal, it still relies on natural gas, another fossil fuel.
What are renewable energy sources?
To reduce dependency on fossil fuels, the UK needs to look to renewable energy sources. These include wind, wave, solar, biomass and creating energy from waste. There are plans to scale up renewable energy facilities in the UK, including vital new energy from waste facilities to add to the 40 that exist today, including ours at Rabbit Group in West Sussex.
While Energy from Waste facilities are an undoubtedly important component in the future of the electricity generation mix, the UK’s demand for electricity far outstrips its capacity to supply. To accommodate this demand, there will also be an increasing dependency on interconnectors. These under-sea energy superhighways allow the UK to import electricity from France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway and Denmark.
What’s the role of energy from waste facilities?
Energy from Waste facilities support change in two crucial environmental focus areas:
- making energy production greener
- helping the UK waste crisis by diverting waste away from landfills and promoting increased recycling
Energy from waste facilities work by taking waste that may otherwise end up in landfill and incinerating it. The burning process produces steam that drives high-pressure turbines that drive a generator to produce green electricity. At Rabbit, we remove all recyclable content before shredding what remains to process through our energy from waste plant.
How quickly will change happen?
The UK has set a target to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Things are moving in the right direction. In 2019, the UK used more zero-carbon sources of energy than fossil fuels for the first time. May 2019 saw Britain’s first coal-free fortnight. By 2025, 85% of imported energy will also be zero carbon.