SOUTHEAST of ENGLAND
among the TOP 5
MOST SUSTAINABLE REGIONS in the UK |
SUSTAINABILITY | RENEWABLE ENERGY |
GREEN ENERGY | ENGLAND |
UNITED KINGDOM | ENVIRONMENT
The UK has been on a high speed to reach its Net-Zero goal by 2050.
The country has committed to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035
and reach full-carbon-free energy production by 2050.
In 2020, the UK generated 43% of its electricity from renewable sources.
There is still a long way to go
and some regions have done better than others
in improving their sustainability
and reducing their environmental impact.
In this article, we will find out which are the top 5 most sustainable regions in the UK.
Which regions produce the most renewable energy in the UK?
Renewable energy is one of the key elements
in pushing the UK towards its green goal.
According to a study from
the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy data,
there are 871,608 renewable energy sites across the UK
that produce green energy.
From these sites,
solar energy is the most widely available source of energy production,
which generates the most renewable energy at the moment.
In fact, the largest green energy source
is the solar panels installed in homes
which are around 1.5 million across the UK.
To rank the top 5 regions for renewable energy production,
we will look into how many clean energy sources
are available per 1000 households in each of the regions.
The data shows that the South West region
holds the first place with 123 804 renewable energy sites.
It is followed by South East with 114 336,
East of England with 106,262,
East Midlands has 88,152 sites
and lastly North West region with 85,749.
See graph here.
Number of renewable energy sites
East of England
How is renewable energy produced in the South East region?
The South East is the top region
for heat pumps in England and Wales.
However, the highest percentage of its installed renewable capacity
comes from solar PV.
In the year from 2015 to 2016,
the region has seen most of its additional capacity
come from solar PV and offshore wind.
Milton Keynes holds the first place
in most renewable energy sources of the whole region
with 3,615 sources installed.
How is green energy produced?
Although solar energy is the most widely available source
of renewable energy generation,
there are other ways to produce green energy.
Each one uses a different technology, which we explain below:
Solar energy is a sustainable source of energy
that comes directly from the Sun.
The Sun produces energy via nuclear fusion,
which happens when smaller atoms
are fused together by heat and pressure to create heavier atoms.
The energy produced reaches the Earth via solar radiation,
which we then convert into electricity.
Solar energy is used to power up any type of device,
even electric cars.
Some people that have installed solar energy sites
can even sell it back to the national grid.
Wind energy is generated when the wind blows past a turbine.
At that moment the kinetic energy is converted into mechanical energy
and then a generator turns it into electricity.
You might think that there has to be a wind storm to generate electricity,
however, even on less windy days this method is very effective.
The wind farms are usually outside of the cities,
and in areas with more wind.
You can often see them in large green spaces next to highways.
Hydropower is energy generated from running water, such as in a river.
There is a constant water cycle in the earth,
which involves evaporation from beds of water that form clouds,
and then transformers into rain.
This water is then incorporated back into the ocean.
This water cycle generates kinetic energy
that is used to produce renewable energy.
Geothermal energy is the energy
that is generated from the subsurface Earth.
A lot of energy is contained in the rocks
that lie underneath the surface of the Earth.
To get into them, people have to dig big holes in the Earth
and build turbines that are used to convert kinetic energy
into electricity through a generator.
Geothermal energy is created in over 20 countries,
and Iceland is a top producer of it.
Bioenergy generates energy from the decomposition of organic matter.
The way it works is that the remains of harvests and crops are utilised.
It creates a lot of heat and methane and,
instead of wasting this resource,
bioenergy taps into it and converts it into sustainable electricity.