Thursday, November 14, 2019

Types or Energy Sources :: Environment, Gas Emissions

The current UK energy supply sector constitute about 38% greenhouse gas emissions (Allen et al. 2007). Approximately 65% of the primary energy is lost as wasted heat during the production of electricity using centralised production system. (Allen et al. 2007). Renewable energy technologies have the potential to dramatically reduce these losses because when fossil fuels are used, the heat generated by localised electricity production can be captured and utilised for space and water heating. Heat and electricity can also be produced locally by renewable sources. Another great importance of renewable energy source is the fact that it is carbon neutral (Hall 2006; Allen et al. 2007). A renewable source is said to be carbon neutral if the amount of CO2 emitted during the sourcing of the energy is off-set with an equivalent amount sequestered or removed from the atmosphere. The UK government has been proactive towards the reduction of greenhouse gases such as CO2 emissions. For instance, and as discussed earlier, the nation is now legally bound to the Kyoto protocol to reduce its CO2 emissions by at least 12.5% below the 1990 levels between the 2008-2012 time frame (Stolarski et al. 2010). Furthermore, the UK Government’s Climate Change Act 2008 sets a legally binding target of 80% reduction in national CO2 emissions by 2050 compared to 1990 levels (DECC 2009). To achieve these targets, and at the same time providing affordable and clean energy to buildings, mitigation strategies including the use of renewable energy technologies is being recommended by the government (DECC 2009). Some common renewable energy technologies in the UK are combined heat and power, geothermal, hydro, tidal, wind, wave and solar energy systems. Combined heat and power (Biomass): is a community heating and electricity system that generates fuel derived from biomass or organic matter. It is important to note that combined heat and power is renewable only when dedicated crops or forest used or where replanting occurs. In this case the carbon captured during growth will be equal to the carbon emitted during combustion. Combined heat and power has a primary energy conversion of 80% compared to a normal grid supply of 30-40 % ( Allen et al. 2007). If widely used, it can lead to significant CO2 reduction. Geothermal energy systems: refer to systems that capture energy from the earth’s core. It has a potential in the UK, although it requires an electrical input which, with the current electricity mix will be only partially renewable.

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