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Renewable Energy and the UK: Track 1

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The EU has set ambitious targets for both renewable energy and carbon reduction, but the UK has been reluctant to sign up to new targets beyond 2020. How does the UK Government plan to tackle this problem and what targets is it considering?

By: The iTunes U team (Programme and web teams)

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Track 1: The UK and the EU

Is the UK on course to meet its renewable energy targets? The UK has accepted a binding target to produce 15% of its energy from renewables but has been reluctant to sign up to new targets beyond 2020. What are the UK’s reservations, and what targets is it considering?


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Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 The UK and the EU    Is the UK on course to meet its renewable energy targets? The UK has accepted a binding target to produce 15% of its energy from renewables but has been reluctant to sign up to new targets beyond 2020. What are the UK’s reservations, and what targets is it considering? Play now The UK and the EU
2 The Challenge of Balancing Supply and Demand    While the government has adopted a range of targets for renewable energy and carbon reduction, there is still a lot of work to do to ensure the targets are met. Managing energy supply from variable renewables to ensure it meets demand is one of the key challenges in a transition to a renewable future. Because wind and solar power output is variable, new ways of balancing supply and demand are being developed. These involve a mixture of demand management, storage, backup from conventional power stations, and new grid connections to other countries. Play now The Challenge of Balancing Supply and Demand
3 Can Renewable Energy Power the World?    Is a renewable-powered future for the world achievable? The International Energy Agency in 2013 predicted that within three years renewable electricity generation will grow to be the world’s second largest source of electricity ahead of natural gas and nuclear power. However while the European renewable energy council predicts up to 100% of power coming from renewables by 2050 BP predicts only between 10 - 20%. Who is right? Play now Can Renewable Energy Power the World?
4 Follow The Leader?    Is there a risk of the UK being left in the slow lane when it comes to renewable energy? Countries like Germany and China are speeding ahead in developing their renewable energy sector. Germany plans to replace nuclear with renewables in 10 years while last year the Chinese built a third of the world’s wind turbines. Should the UK follow their lead or choose its own path? Play now Follow The Leader?
5 Zero-Carbon Britain    The aim of Zero Carbon Britain is to reduce the UK’s net greenhouse gas emissions to zero. One aspect of the strategy involves looking at how to reduce our energy consumption while still maintaining similar lifestyles to what we have today. Another aspect requires looking at how to supply the energy we’ll still need in a carbon-neutral way. How can the UK achieve a high renewable/ low carbon future and can we ever reach a Zero Carbon Britain? Play now Zero-Carbon Britain
6 The Place of Nuclear Power    Can renewables power the world or do we need to look elsewhere for low-carbon electricity? What role can nuclear power play? The European renewable energy council predicts that renewable energy could contribute up to 100% of energy demand by 2050 while BP predicts a more pessimistic 10-20%. What could fill this gap? Play now The Place of Nuclear Power

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