A Guide to UK Renewable Energy

The Green Room: What happens when you put two energy experts in a room and ask them how the UK makes its renewable energy? In our latest episode we dig deep into the numbers and recent trends, and take you through all of the UK’s biggest renewable energy sources. We check out their benefits and drawbacks, and how the government plans to increase our renewable energy generation in the coming years.


Wind power is, in many ways, the bedrock of UK renewable power. On a very basic level a wind turbine comprises of rotor blades positioned at the top of very high towers. They spin as wind hits them, which produces electricity. Recent decades have seen anti-wind turbine sentiments abate significantly, and they’re currently our biggest source of renewable electricity, accounting for 18% of UK energy. 


Bioenergy is a bit of a blanket term that essentially covers any gas, electricity or transport fuel generated from organic matter. That means plants, timber, agricultural & food waste, and even sewage. The really big advantage of bioenergy is that it is a lot more flexible than most renewable energies.


Solar power has long been one of the big hitters in the renewables world, at least partly because it does so well in global technology hotspots like California and China. In terms of our reliance on solar panels, it’s low compared wind and bioenergy, sitting just below 4% in 2018, but we’re certainly no slouch – we are still in the top 10 global producers of solar energy. 


There are a few different types of hydroelectric power generators, but in essence, hydroelectric uses flowing water to spin a turbine, generating electricity. It’s a little difficult, because it requires specific natural features to take advantage of, but we do have several hydroelectric plants in the UK. There are more hydro projects planned for the future, but they come with a hefty price tag which may make them difficult to complete.

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