I have just finished reading through the Statistical Press Release on UK Energy Statistics for 2017 and Q4 2017 which has just been released online.
At an event, I heard someone saying that he didn’t expect much change from this, and he did not expect to see any impressive results. I quickly indicated to him that coal production fell to a new record low of 3 million tonnes, 27% down on 2016, and total demand had fallen by 20% to 14.4 million tonnes, of which consumption by electricity generators was down 28% (-3.3 million tonnes). On the other hand, Renewable energy production had been growing, and in 2017 was up nearly a fifth from 2016 due to increased capacity, and higher speed winds.
This got me thinking that like this person, most of us do not realise the level of change that we have collectively made as a nation. The positive change for the better, through changing attitudes and habits in our homes, communities and workplaces, all leading to a reduced carbon footprint.
Rolling with the times…
The Renewables industry has been growing since the late 90’s. To the ordinary person this was viewed as the responsibility of the governments, and something that only politicians, and green campaigners preached about.
Fast forward 20 years, I am glad to say that there has been a shift in society, with almost every community member making a positive change in order to promote clean energy, at times even through unconscious actions that we are taking.
This has taken so long, you may think, but changing peoples’ attitudes takes time. What we have achieved in terms of knowledge and change is applaudable, and every little change from scientists, campaigners, individuals, and business communities has made a positive, and notable difference.
To highlight a few changes, I have listed some things that most of us now do, but were not doing a decade ago,
- Opting out of paper statements and choosing to receive e-statements for bills and correspondence.
- Recycling of paper and waste in our offices and homes.
- Making a conscious effort to recycle food and bio-degradable waste.
- Switching to LED lighting.
- Making use of eco-friendly gadgets.
The bigger changes that I have noted include
- An increase in electricity generation using cleaner sources such as sunshine, wind, rain, and biofuels.
- Local councils offering more advice on how to recycle waste.
- Innovation in industry, including the introduction of electric vehicles, and replacement of oil generated machinery.
- Introduction of Low carbon emission zones in cities.
- Car scrappage schemes funded by the government to help reduce high emission cars on the roads.
I guess this is evident that we are doing a great job, and we all deserve a big pat on the back. Yes, there is still a lot of work to be done, and Yes, we can do more, but it is always great to acknowledge how far we have come in preparing for the future. So, to all doing their bit in building a cleaner society…Well Done and Let’s continue with the good work!!
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