The rise of renewable energy in the UK

Renewable Energy Solutions

The future is on the horizon as more and more people start adopting green energy tariffs to power their homes using renewable energy, resulting in serious investment in green energy infrastructure for the UK’s power grid. In this article, we’re going to take a look at how we got here and how much further we’ve got to go until we can achieve our goal as a nation of becoming completely carbon neutral.

Modern breakthrough for renewables…

We have come a long way since humanities first recorded attempt of harvesting the power of nature, which was the discovery of the water wheel in 500 BC. This crude form of energy harnessing was the foundation on which many of today’s renewable energy inventions are built on. It is argued that the first modern breakthrough for renewable came from Augustin Mouchot in 1860.

Renewable Energy

Mouchot became convinced that coal, the predominant fuel behind the industrial revolution, was going to run out (he’s right you know!). Because of this belief, and through years of research, he managed to create the first-ever solar-powered engine. It was a crude device compared to the alternatives that we have these days, but it was a revolutionary breakthrough and provided inspiration for many other inventive characters, such Albert Einstein to develop and contribute to advancing solar power. Fast forward to the 1930s in America and we not only have the first-ever commercial sale of a wind turbine but also the construction of the Hoover Dam, which was the world’s first large scale hydroelectric powerplant.

Still more work to do with renewable energy…

In the UK, things really got going for the renewable energy sector in the 1970s. Due to the oil crisis and mounting concern over global warming, the UK government realised the importance of moving away from unhealthy fossil fuels and adopting renewable energy a way to power the country. Initially, tidal energy was seen as the way forward for the UK due to the rough sea surrounding our country, however, attention quickly switched to wind as the most viable option in the 1980s. This did not stop advancement in other green energy projects, geothermal showed good progress. The introduction of offshore wind farms in 2013 gave green energy the boost it needed to start seriously supplying the national grid which has resulted in wind power providing the UK with 20% of its energy in 2019. Now in the year 2020, the UK officially has the biggest offshore wind industry in the world and the single largest wind farm. This has helped contribute towards the UK from going coal-free from April in terms of producing electricity. The work, however, is far from over, in fact, it’s only just beginning. However, the last year has most defiantly proved that the UK has what it takes to go fully green and with the public doing their part in terms of future-proofing their homes with more energy-efficient systems as well as adopting green energy tariffs the future defiantly looks bright for the UK.

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The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) closed to new applications on 31 March 2022.

The information on this page is intended for reference only. If you have already successfully applied for an eligible installed system you are unaffected by the scheme’s closure.

The replacement grant is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme which you can read more about here.