There are three commonly held misperceptions of renewable energy: that the available resource is too small to be useful; that its inherently variable nature is too difficult to manage; and that it is too costly to develop.
A slew of new reports, profiled at a conference organised last Friday by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), fundamentally challenge these myths.
This past week saw the publication of The Offshore Valuation, a major new study supported by a broad consortium of Government and industry bodies and coordinated by PIRC. It is the first report to attempt a full economic valuation of the UK’s offshore renewable energy resource. Its findings have been startling: by developing less than a third of the practical wind, wave and tidal resource around the British Isles, we could become a net electricity exporter, generating by 2050 the electricity equivalent of 1 billion barrels of oil per year. Doing so could bring multiple benefits to the UK: £31 billion of revenues from electricity exports to Europe, 145,000 green jobs, and insurance against fossil fuel price volatility. Read more