2020 was a big year for sustainability and green infrastructure, with countries such as the UK, Canada, China and the EU reiterating their commitment to reaching net-zero carbon by 2050. No doubt, with newly elected President Biden making a firm policy commitment to going green, we will see a surge in cleantech, circular economic principles and environmental accords.
One important area will be renewable energy. It has grown in significance over the last decade, especially in the UK which has become a leading force in the drive to decarbonise electricity. From the rhetoric of PM Boris Johnson, it is highly likely we will see an intense focus on green power solutions in 2021.
The Earth possesses vast natural resources, some of which can be harnessed without damaging the environment. However, some are more effective and reliable than others. As such, if we are to meet the rising appetite for energy, we need to evolve our approach as we address the topic more holistically.
A Need For Evolution In Renewable Energy
Increasingly, concerns have been raised about how effective various renewable systems are in providing our ever-increasing energy needs in the long term, particularly as we wean ourselves off fossil fuels. Equally, the rising dependence on data and technology in our daily lives means consumption is set to increase, requiring sustainable solutions which can meet demand and do so at a reasonable price.
We urgently need to move away from fossil fuels in order to prevent the inevitable effects of global warming. In a bid to abandon these damaging energy sources for good, countries across the globe are primarily adopting renewable energy use in the form of solar and wind power, with the latter being the biggest source of renewable energy in the UK. With the surge of renewable engineers in demand, there’s not been a better time to invest your time into a renewable energy course.
Good for the environment and the economy
Harnessing tidal energy will help to combat climate change, as well as strengthen the UK’s post-pandemic economy by creating a huge number of new jobs. According to the government’s economic watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, UK unemployment is likely to reach 2.6 million by the middle of this year. Renewable energy alone can create up to 150,000 new long-term jobs in the UK, which will help to plug the gap.
Coastal towns are some of those worst affected by the pandemic. Once dependent on traditional industries, they have been facing longer-term problems due to a decline in fishing, shipbuilding and manufacturing industries.
The construction and operation of a tidal power plant in these areas could help to create real-value work, offer exciting new job prospects to a younger generation of energy professionals and engineers, and also provide a shot in the arm to the local economy.