Is 24 hours without coal good enough?
However, we ask – could Britain be doing more to produce cleaner, less fossil-fuel-reliant electricity? Since the Paris Climate Treaty in late 2015, there has been a concerted push by multiple countries around the world to reduce emissions and increase clean energy production.
For brief moments in 2016, both Germany and Denmark produced more renewable energy than was being consumed, leading to power prices going negative for several hours at a time, meaning commercial customers were being paid to consume electricity. Both have plans to be 100% renewable by 2050, and export surplus renewable energy to neighbouring countries.
Therefore, while the UK is heading in the right direction, there is clearly plenty still to be done before it is competing with the cleanest and greenest countries in the world.
How will Britain do this?
Aside from the obvious – increased investment into renewable energy sources – the UK must improve the efficiency of day-to-day consumer goods, which can subsequently lead to behavioural change towards energy consumption across the wider population. Be this through demand management by the UK government; for example, incentivising products such as electric cars, or through greater investment into smarter and more energy efficient home appliances. Domestic smart technology is still in its infancy and thus presents a huge opportunity as the UK continues to seek innovative new approaches to improving its energy consumption.
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