Buckfastleigh Transition Town – for a sustainable future for Buckfastleigh, Devon
RSS icon Email icon Home icon
  • Our Energy Future

    Posted on June 30th, 2011 Steve 1 comment

    The UK faces a serious energy problem. We have aging power stations that will close down soon, rising demand for electricity, volatile fuel prices and legally binding carbon emission reduction targets.

    According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), by the year 2050 we will need to change dramatically the way we produce and consume our energy. In order to help avoid the most dangerous impacts of global climate change, scientists propose that the UK should reduce carbon emissions to 20% or less of 1990 levels by the year 2050.

    Given these circumstances, it looks like we are going to have to make some difficult and unpalatable decisions. But what are the options and what effects will they have? Should we follow Germany’s lead and move away from nuclear? Should we build wind farms all over the country and around our coasts when local objections can be so vociferous (as shown in the recent BBC2 documentary series)? Should there be a tidal barrage on the River Severn? Should we all install solar PV panels on our houses (possibly with the help of Teignbridge District Council)? What about home insulation, reducing car use, carbon capture and storage, wave power, etc.?

    Fortunately, the DECC have made available some resources to help answer the question of how we meet our carbon emission reduction targets whilst still keeping the country moving and the lights on. There are three items that the DECC have made available:

    It should be noted that none of these tools address the costs (financial, social, environmental or otherwise) of any of the supply or demand options, although some of them do indicate how much effort it would take to implement the option.

    We’d love to know what conclusions BTT members (and others) have come to regarding balancing energy supply, demand and carbon emissions. So, if you do use any of the three resources mentioned above then please share your experiences with us (via our contact page or on email at info@buckthetrend.info).