From Greenhouse to Green House

The threats of climate change
CO2 emissions and savings


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Since it is easier to obtain figures relating to electricity supplies for the UK than for other kinds of energy, the spreadsheet shown on this page focuses on potential sources of green electricity for the UK and opportunities to save elecricity.

Background information about each of the sources of clean electricity, including sources for the figures below, are in Energy Supply and Conservation. Further information may be found in Energy UK.

Even with rather cautious assumptions about what is possible, it is very clear that we can meet our current needs very easily and there is scope for accommodating increases in demand. Since sources like concentrating solar power, photovoltaics and offshore wind power can in principle produce much larger quantities of electricity than shown in this spreadsheet, there is clear potential for using electricity for such things as transport and space heating (via technologies such as ground-source heat pumps) where it currently has only a minor role.

This spreadsheet does not include any contribution from Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), a technology that appears to have a very large potential in the USA and probably elsewhere in the world including the UK. Neither does it include the possibility of importing geothermal electricity from Iceland.

In the spreadsheet, the figures in red in brackets associated with a given category show the potential of that category as a percentage of current UK demand.

Electricity generation   % UK demand
and conservation    
Concentrating solar power (100+)   15
Wind (100+)   20
     Waves 20  
     Tidal streams (20) 3  
     Tidal lagoons 8  
     Total (marine)   31
     Photovoltaics (70) 20  
     Micro-wind 6  
     CHP and fuel cells 16  
     Hydropower 1  
     Total (microgeneration)   43
Electricity conservation    
     Low-energy bulbs 2  
     Eliminate 'stand by' 2  
     More efficient motors 6  
     Total (conservation)   10
Total   119

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