Climate change is all over the news, with Extinction Rebellion continuing, Greta Thunberg making headlines, and billionaires investing in green tech. We all want the government to do something about our carbon footprint as a country, but not one seems totally clear on what. While we don’t have the answer of how to fight climate change, we do think there are key areas for investment.
Improving Energy Efficiency
In the UK the biggest problem of all is that our housing stock is old and inefficient. There are around 25 million homes in the United Kingdom, more than a third of which do not have adequate insulation. We waste an enormous amount of energy every year by heating homes that leak it right back out, meaning higher bills for consumers and increased stress on the National Grid. Investment in simple home insulation improvements should be a top priority for Britain to reduce its energy consumption and fight climate change.
Electric vehicles are a very important step in the right direction, but as with all electric-powered technologies, the vehicle is only as environmentally friendly as the energy we put into it. A lot of our electricity is still generated from burning gas and coal, which somewhat defeats the point of using electricity over petrol. Any investment into electric vehicles, therefore, needs to be done in combination with upgrading our current electrical generation system and developing new technologies.
When it comes to renewable energy generation, the issue is that it’s not consistent. We don’t have enough battery storage options to hold the extra energy when production is high – for example when it’s very windy. This means that we then have to rely on traditional fossil fuel methods when production is low. Money being put into fighting climate change should focus on tackling this by improving battery technology research and investing in other renewables that offer predictable energy outputs. Technologies such as wave energy, tidal lagoons, and geothermal are all promising, they just need better funding and more public backing.
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