Unilever looks to go fully renewable, Scotland’s wind reaches new high and Cornwall’s hidden rock power.
Cornwall could be home of UK’s first Geothermal plant
The UK’s first ever geothermal power station could be ready to provide a fifth of the UK’s energy demands if a multi-million pound investment drive is successful.
Crowdfunding platform, Abundance, is hoping to raise a further £5m so that they can construct the groundbreaking station in Redruth. The area has long been considered to be a potential gold mine for geothermal power with local attraction, the Eden Project, has already attempted and failed to secure funding for their own geothermal power station.
Although local trusted expert on geothermal power, Tony Batchelor, has long supported the construction of the proposed station; the project faces a number of challenges before drilling can begin at the start of 2018. The first of these challenges is for the remaining investment to be found. Abundance has suggested that investors could see a 12% return on their investment, over an 18-month term, something that should help attract those with the money to spare.
If the money is secured successfully, the geothermal operation could be up and running by 2020, a plan that will only be hindered by possible safety concerns. As this would be the first plant of its kind in the UK, there are worries regarding the potential returns from the drilling operation with some councilors suggesting that the plan was potentially ‘risky’.
Scotland continues to blow back wind power records
Not content with resting on their laurels after breaking wind power records earlier this year, Scotland has revealed that the first 6 months of the year have proved to be the country’s most successful in terms of producing renewable energy.
On Christmas Day 2016, with a favourable winter wind blowing, wind power provided enough energy to supply 153% of the country’s electricity needs. On that day more wind energy was produced in a single day than had ever been recorded with more than 74,000MWh wired through to the National Grid.
Six months later and the wind has kept blowing, helping the country along to break even more records. Independent conservation group WWF Scotland reported that over 1,000,000MWh of electricity was produced by wind turbines alone in June – whereas the total renewable energy created by the country was ample enough to power well over 100% of Scotland’s homes. Acting Director of the conservation group, Dr Sam Gardner, suggested that Scotland’s people should get behind these results and call for a strong climate bill that will keep Scotland ahead of the curve in the renewable energy game.
Transnational paves way for renewable energy use
Unilever, one of the largest and oldest transnational companies in the world, has recently been pushing to power more and more of it’s sites solely with 100% renewable energy.
From April 2017, the company has become the main beneficiary of the energy produced by the 23-turbine wind farm at Lochluichart, currently owned by renewables company, Eneco UK. Unilever is hoping that the 87% of the wind farm’s output will provide their fifteen UK sites with the electricity they need.
This is one of the first steps that the company is taking in the hopes of becoming carbon positive by the year 2030. The surplus of the energy produced by the wind farm will be sold to local communities, fulfilling one of it’s many other environmental goals, which include eliminating coal from their energy mix by 2020 and sourcing all their electricity from renewable sources by the same year.