International Energy Policy
The Impact of Advancements in Renewable Energy Technologies on the Direction of Energy Policy of the United Kingdom
Climate change is one of the most serious emergent issues that has caught the attention of many around the globe (Dunkerley, 2015). Tentatively, global warming is another significant facet that goes hand in hand with the global whenever climate change is mentioned (Preece, 2006). This is due to the fact that the ever deteriorating condition of the environment has not only threatened the peaceful coexistence of different living things globally due to various adverse resultant effects like deadly ultraviolet rays (Dunkerley, 2015). There are different facets that have been found to exacerbate the menace most of which are associated with the increase in the level of human activities (Nielsen, 2006). For instance refining and use of fossil fuels and increased an increasing rate in the contemporary world due to improved industrialization. As a result, this leads to massive carbon emission that ends up accumulating in the air (Fawibe, 2014). Concentration of deadly industrial gases leads to the destruction of the ozone layer, something that ends up destructing the whole ecosystem, starting from the atmosphere to the biosphere. Many countries, especially the industrialized ones have realized the importance of being at the forefront in taking care of the environment by engaging or adopting ways of life that are friendly to the environment (Fellix, 2013). One of the new changes concerns citing the matter advocating for a change in the use of fuel.
In retrospective, countries like the UK have realized the importance of using environmentally friendly fuel by instead of using fossil fuels. The change in policy has gradually changed such countries from highly fossil fuel driven economies to environmentally friendly driven economies. Diverse policies have been drafted with regard to changing the mannerism in which many corporations chose the type of fuel to use. A majority of the sectors have found the need and significance of using environmentally friendly fuel in order to validate the perception of an environmentally friendly driven economy. Therefore, this paper will evaluate various ways that UK has adopted in order to convert it to an environmentally friendly driven economy. Use of the SWOT analysis tool will be perceived imperative during the whole process. This will be done in order to assess whether the direction of energy policy will be an informed decision or it will be the biggest mistake that the United Kingdom’s government will have made.
It is important to note that there are those that are opposed to the idea moving from a fossil fuel driven economy to an environmentally friendly driven economy. They deem as something that will be adverse effects towards the country’s economic sector as renewable sources of energy cannot match the amount of energy that fossil fuels produces. This can be said to be feasible in case one compared the difference in the amount of wind energy to the amount of energy that is released from fossil fuels like petroleum products. Nonetheless, it is important evaluating as to whether the UK’s declaration of change in its energy formulation policies was well informed or not.
Deviating from fossil fuel to a sustainable energy driven economy is one of the most informed decision that United Kingdom ever made. This is due to the fact that the declaration is in line with the national interests of the country. For instance, a paper about energy was drafted in the year 2007 during the month of May that seeks at changing the manner in which the government regulates the use of energy in the country (Preece, 2006). Four different important policies were formulated in order to assist in advancing the agenda. The first goal to be formulated was in line to helping UK remain on the path of being responsible in cutting down carbon emission (UKERC Report Finds, 2009). The country wants to cut down emissions of carbon dioxide by over 50% by the year 2050 (Wilson & John, 2010). The real progress is supposed to take place as from the year 2020 (Wilson & John, 2010). The only probable solution to help the United Kingdom achieve this dream is to switch on to the use of sustainable energy sources, which have minimal environmental degradation effects as compared to the use of fossil fuels (The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, 2009). For instance, Switching on to the use of wind energy in its industrial sector will create a more conducive environment, as compared to use of the petroleum products. Wind energy has almost zero carbon dioxide emissions as compared to petroleum products (Reuben, 2009). On the other hand, wind energy requires availability of the natural wind in order to be generated, unlike in the petroleum products that require the use of the lot of energy in order to break down to release energy (The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, 2009). Serially, a lot of energy from other sources is consumed in order to make the whole process of energy process become effective.
The second policy of the paper addresses on the need of maintaining a reliable supply of energy. Therefore, the thought of changing from fossil fuel to a sustainable energy use was a well-informed (Anderson, 2008). This is due to the fact that fossil fuels are not reliable and can be depleted unlike in the case of sustainable energy. One of the fossil fuel that is very common in many industries around the UK is coal (Wilson & John, 2010). Its source is getting depleted at a very alarming rate, hence the reason of coming up with alternative ways that will help curb the already looming menace. Contrarily, use of sustainable sources of energy like solar and wind energy has no future prospective of being depleted (Preece, 2006). Furthermore, sustainable energy comes from sources like sun rays, which can never be depleted. Therefore, this will help safeguard the countries interested even in the near future as its industrial growth will not stall as a result of shortage of energy (Nixon, 2008). On the other hand, wind is a reliable energy unlike the usage of coal. There is no given that the area will remain calm and devoid of any form of air movement. In fact, the current rate of wind occurrence is increasing at an increasing rate, making the whole process of shifting from fossil to renewable energy source a better informed decision.
On the other hand, the third agenda and policy of the White paper was to promote, market competitiveness of the companies from the UK in a more sustainable manner through use of energy sources that would promote more economic growth that is sustainable as well. In turn, this was meant to promote, as well as improve the rate of productivity. Use of sustainable energy has continued to UK’s firms become more liberalized as a result of the increased competition (Preece, 2006). Therefore, use of sustainable energy has helped reduce the cost of many products that are manufactured within the country increasing its relative competitiveness (Andrew, 2007).
On the other hand, there was a fourth policy that the white paper tried to advocate. This policy had everything to do with increasing the lighting of every home in a more affordable and adequate manner (Wilson $ John, 2010). Therefore, this is a dream that makes the turning from fossil to sustainable energy true. For instance, the country has continued to increase the rate of uptake of sustainable sources of energy such as onshore wind, solar photovoltaic, offshore winds, tidal wind, bioenergy, and small, as well as the large scale use of hydro energy (Taverne, 2005). These are relatively cheaper sources of energy that will help caution the country against high fuel prices in the near future. Most of the homes will be cautions from the high prices of fossil fuel that have intermittent supply currently (Mott et. al., 2011). Moreover, increased use of sustainable energy in many households in the country will help to ensure that there is an improved reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide.
There are some weaknesses that relate to the United Kingdom’s decision to switch on to the use of sustainable sources of energy. For instance, many organizations that continue to present a lot of objections towards the new plan (Andrew, 2007). They cite “energy challenges” as the main impendent towards achieving the goal (Wilson $ John, 2010). Most energy consumers are still rational. Thus, they act independently whenever any of such declarations are made. For instance, many of them remain unaware of the decision and how it will help them tackle the main challenge, which is to tackle high rate of carbon dioxide emission and reduction in the cost of energy in the long run. Therefore, they become reluctant in adopting the mode of energy as a way of meeting its industrial needs.
On the other hand, necessary equipment important for tapping some of sustainable energy is very expensive (Laurence & Roy, 2009). For instance turbine that can effectively turn tidal waves into energy that can be used are very expensive making the dream of those that are ready and willing to adopt the mode of energy consumption almost impossible (George, 2005). On the other hand, the equipment required to effectively tap wind energy are also an expense. Apart from that, adequate wind energy requires a large space in order to install multiple turbines that are enough in generating wind energy (Mott et. al., 2011). Therefore, the cost of establishing sustainable energy is an additional expense not reflected in the consumption of fossil fuel as a source of energy.
One of the major opportunities that the United Kingdom can exploit in order to make the dream come true is its improved economic system (Örjan, 2005). Therefore, it can be able to fund most of its start in establishing good and effective production of sustainable energy (Wilson $ John, 2010). The country has many industries, most of which have continued to use a lot of energy on a daily basis in order to improve the level of energy consumption (Nordquist et al., 2005). On the other hand, a majority of its people are well educated, therefore, they would be much more willing to adopt the government idea or initiative (Mott et. al., 2011). In the end, it would be successful. There is also support from other countries outside its boundaries like in the European Onion.
One of the major threats towards achieving the goal is the lack of non-cooperation in many countries especially in the developing countries. There is loss of independence, especially in determining the policy’s success level outside the country (Wilson & John, 2010). This may make the program become ineffective at later stages of development. On the other hand, there is insufficiency of strong will in the drafting of national policies on some matters like fuel efficiency in the transport sector. As a result, the dream of achieving green economy becomes a challenge. On the other hand, there is no emphasis on energy conservation, especially when it comes to mitigation of the overall illumination of the nation’s economy (Wilson & John, 2010). Therefore, there are many parts that are still left alone when it comes to adoption of cleaner energy.
The issues regarding the UK’s decision to shift from fossil fuel to sustainable energy is supposed to be treated with the highest caution possible. This is due to the fact that there are many underlying issues that need to be addressed. For instance, there are some countries that fear switching on to green energy fully owing to their large requirement of instant energy on a daily basis, something that renewable energy sources cannot guarantee. Taking drastic measures that will see the implementation of the recommendations of the “white paper’s” goals being realized within the shortest time possible may lead to adverse effects to the UK economy. For instance, some of the industry, like those ones in the manufacturing industry, may halt their production for an economic shutdown. In order to make the move successful without hurting the economy of the country, there needs to be proper implementation procedures where government may introduce clean energy programs in juvenile companies. Such companies do not require a lot of energy of energy in their operations. On the other hand, a majority of households should be encouraged to use green and renewable energy since they do not require heavy use of fossil fuels. However, the program should be introduced on a gradual basis in the big and established industry so as to pave way for further research that may come up with methods of tapping large amounts of renewable energy for industrial use in years to come. In this, UK will have won in the war of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.
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