• Climate change and renewables

    Technology overviews
    Renewable energy is that which is derived from any natural resource which can replace itself quickly and dependably without running out. Sources of renewable energy are typically part of our everyday environment including the sun, wind, water and even waste.

  • Solar Photovoltaics (PV)

    Solar power is one of the world’s fastest-growing renewable energy technologies. By 2050, Solar PV is expected to produce around 22% of global electricity saving more than 3 Gigatonnes of CO2.

  • Wind Energy

    Wind Energy is a proven source of renewable energy. Wind energy is both viable and highly effective and is the second largest form of power generation capacity in Europe with a total net installed capacity of approximately 189 GW.

  • Concentrated Solar Power

    Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) uses lenses or mirrors are used to reflect and focus sunlight onto a receiver where the concentrated light is converted to heat. This thermal energy in turn produces electricity via a turbine connected to a generator.

  • Energy Storage

    Energy Storage has a crucial role to play in the management of energy supply and in the wider uptake of renewable energy technologies in the future. Storage technologies help to ensure that energy is always available when and where it is needed.

  • Energy Efficiency

    Energy Efficiency is essential in helping both businesses and consumers to reduce their energy consumption. It is also central to helping the UK to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 relative to 1990 levels.

  • Hydropower and Tidal Energy

    Hydropower plants use the force of moving water to generate electricity. The water is used to turn blades in a turbine which in turn spins a generator to produce electricity.

  • Waste to Energy

    Much of our biodegradable waste, from food and garden detritus to cardboard and paper, is sent to landfill. Waste to Energy technologies enable energy to be recovered from waste materials destined for landfill.

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The link between carbon, global warming and climate change

All known life on Earth is based on compounds of carbon – it’s the fourth most abundant element in the universe.  Carbon itself is not the problem.  It’s the emission of a bi-product: carbon dioxide, or CO2, which is caused by the burning of carbon-based fuels and foodstuffs which is significantly contributing to global warming.  It’s why the use of fossil fuels for transport, energy and heat is unsustainable in the long term.

Climate change and renewables

What is the impact of climate change?

The Paris Agreement was reached on 12 December 2015 when Parties to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) reached a landmark agreement to combat climate change and to accelerate the pathway towards a sustainable low carbon economy.

Climate change and renewables

Where we can make a difference

Despite all the doom and gloom, the landmark IPCC report also makes it clear that the world has the scientific understanding, the technological capacity and the financial means to tackle climate change. What’s more, there are substantial economic and development benefits to be had through bold climate action.

In March 2019, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published its Public Attitudes Tracker. 80% of people said they were fairly or very concerned about climate change – the highest proportion of overall concern since the survey started. It also shows consistently high levels of support amongst the public for renewable energy. There is a groundswell of support out there for making a change.

So it’s rapid and significant cuts to greenhouse gas emissions which is crucial to limiting global warming to the 1.5 degrees Celcius mark as highlighted by the IPCC report who recommend cutting emissions by about 45% between 2010 and 2030 and to reach net zero by around 2050.
This is transformation at an unprecedented scale but there are actions we can take to achieve this.

It requires investment in renewables, improvements to energy efficiency, cutting emissions from transport, and protecting natural systems that store carbon such as forests.

Low Carbon’s role: investing in renewable energy

At Low Carbon we have a fundamental belief that the acceleration of climate change is the greatest challenge facing humanity. We are clear: climate change must be arrested before the damage becomes irreversible.

Climate change and renewables

The Best Of All Possible Worlds