Using clean, renewable Energy is one of the most important actions you can take to reduce your impact on the environment. 

Electricity production is our #1 source of greenhouse Gases, more than all of our driving and flying combined. Clean Energy also reduces harmful smog, toxic build-ups in our air and water, and the impacts caused by coal mining and Gas extraction. But replacing our fossil-fuel infrastructure will take time. Strong, consistent support from both governmental and financial bodies is needed to build renewable Energy generation.


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UK has seen a major shift in Energy generation, from the images above we can clearly see Renewable Energy sources are now a major part of our overall Energy generation, when compared to 2014/2015.

Renewable Energy sources can be used to produce Electricity with fewer environmental impacts. It is possible to make Electricity from renewable Energy sources without producing carbon dioxide (CO2), the leading cause of global climate change.

But first, just what is renewable Energy?

Renewable Energy is Energy derived from natural resources that replenish themselves over a period of time without depleting the Earth’s resources. These resources also have the benefit of being abundantly available, and they cause little, if any, environmental damage. Energy from the sun, wind and thermal Energy stored in the Earth’s crust are some examples.

For comparison, fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural Gas are not renewable since their quantity is finite. Once we have extracted them, they will cease to be available for use, while they are produced through natural processes, these processes are far too slow to replenish these fuels as quickly as humans use them.

Renewables Benefit the Economy

  • Energy Security

Renewable Energy provides reliable power supplies and fuel diversification, which enhance Energy security and lower the risk of fuel spills while reducing the need for imported fuels.  Renewable Energy also helps conserve the nation’s natural resources.

  • Economic Development

The Renewable Energy industry is more labour intensive than its fossil fuel counterpart, meaning on average it creates more employment opportunities. The industry also creates positive ripple effects down to the renewable energy supply chain and unrelated businesses due to overall economic health and profit.

  • Energy Price Stability

Renewable Energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal do not incur fuel costs or require transportation. Therefore, offering greater price stability, some electric utilities factor Energy transportation costs into their retail prices. Removing the need to transport Energy by road also removes this cost, greater profits and greater saving for the end-users.

Renewable Energy provides opportunities on multiple scales and with the UK moving away from European Union having a self-sufficient Energy structure will only support the economy. Some of the positive contributions Renewable Energy has had are:

  • 72% emission reduction in the power sector since 1990
  • 738,000 jobs are supported across the UK.
  • 54% of the power is generated from low carbon sources.
  • £13bn invested by the UK Energy sector
  • £95bn generated in economic activity through the supply chain.
  • £770m spent by the sector in 2019 to support vulnerable customers through social schemes.


Electricity Generation and Health


UK annual emissions of sulphur dioxide by 2018 major emissions sources:

(1990, 2005, 2017 and 2018)

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  • Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)

The nation’s sulphur dioxide (SO2), Emissions of sulphur dioxide have fallen by 98 per cent since 1970, to 160 thousand tonnes in 2018. Emissions decreased by 8.5 per cent from 2017 to 2018, dropping to the lowest level in the time series. This was driven by a decline in coal use in power stations, continuing a long-term decrease in emissions from this source. Stricter limits being placed on the sulphur content of liquid fuels has also reduced emissions in the long term. With Energy Industry playing a major role in SO2 due to the methods used for energy production, we can see a clear path ahead enabling cleaner, safer air.

Direct exposure to SO2 is associated with asthma and chronic bronchitis and can lead to irritation and constriction of the airways. SO2 emitted from coal-burning played a key contributory role in thousands of respiratory-related deaths during the London smog in 1952. SO2 is also known to combine with nitrogen oxides and ammonia to form particulate matter which has serious health implications.


  • Nitrogen oxides (NOx)

Nitrogen oxides or NOx are a family of poisonous, highly reactive Gases that form when fuel is burned at high temperatures. Nitrogen oxides have problematic chemical reactions in the atmosphere with volatile organic compounds. Coal and oil, two major fossil fuels, contain nitrogen. When these fuels are burnt to generate Electricity, they produce a type of NOx known specifically as fuel NOx.

Elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide can cause damage to the human respiratory tract and increase a person’s vulnerability to, and the severity of, respiratory infections and asthma. Long-term exposure to high levels of nitrogen dioxide can cause chronic lung disease.


  • Ozone (O3)

The ozone layer or ozone shield is a region of Earth’s stratosphere that absorbs most of the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation. It contains a high concentration of ozone (O3) in relation to other parts of the atmosphere. The ozone layer is the layer with the highest concentration of ozone. This helps it to protect the Earth from harmful U-V (Ultraviolet) rays emitted from the sun.


The lowest part of the Earth’s atmosphere is the troposphere, this is what we can see and feel, the layer where it rains, snows, and other weather conditions. The ozone sits just above this, in the stratosphere, which is part of the upper atmosphere. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are greenhouse Gases containing carbon, hydrogen, and fluorine. Decades ago, appliances used chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as refrigerants, which wreaked havoc on the ozone layer.


  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change. Long-term effects associated with fossil fuel burning could be even more alarming than air pollution-related deaths today. In the future, tropical diseases could thrive as the earth’s climate warms, and deaths due to extreme weather conditions could increase.


  • Mercury

Mercury is a highly toxic metal that is released from coal-fired power plants. Mercury accumulates in the fat cells of fish and other animals. When humans eat fish, they are exposed to mercury. Mercury causes permanent damage to the liver and central nervous system, causing loss of motor function, slurred speech, tunnel vision, and loss of hearing. Mercury is particularly harmful when ingested by pregnant or nursing women as it can cause birth defects and developmental defects. 

In conclusion

Ongoing concerns about climate change have made renewable Energy sources an important component of the world Energy consumption portfolio. Renewable Energy technologies could reduce CO2 emissions by replacing fossil fuels in the power generation industry and the transportation sector. It is necessary to develop and promote renewable energy supply technologies and demand for renewable energy. Power generation using renewable Energy sources should be increased in order to decrease the unit cost of generation. Energy consumption depends on several factors including economic progress, population, Energy prices, weather, and technology.

Green Energy is a governmental focus, and we should strive towards contributing to the required emissions targets. The more we work together the easier this target will be, the cheaper our Energy will become, the cleaner our air and more importantly the longer our planet will live.

Green Energy with all its benefits is currently the same cost and, in some cases, already cheaper to source.