About clean energy
Clean energy comes from the Earth’s natural resources – sunlight, wind, waves, tides and geothermal heat. As a source of power it has two great advantages: it will never run out and, unlike oil, coal and gas, it does not pollute the planet or cause dangerous climate change.
Clean energy is versatile. It can meet a broad spectrum of our power demands – from supplying major cities to powering small settlements in remote locations, unconnected to any electricity grid.
It is adaptable. The sheer range of clean technologies available to us means that one technology or another will be appropriate for almost every community – and can be built close to where it is actually needed.
It is abundant. Solar power alone has the potential to meet the world’s energy needs many times over. Here in Britain we have more than enough wind, wave and tidal resources to meet our own energy needs and export energy to other countries.
And it is perfect for the UK, which has some of the best and most accessible clean energy sources in the world. We could, and should, be global leaders in the field, reaping huge industrial, economic and employment advantages by being at the forefront of the fastest growing new technologies.
So why isn’t Britain leading the world in clean energy?
Well it’s certainly not because the technologies aren’t up to the job. We already have offshore wind farms capable of the same power output as a conventional power station, and tidal power stations have been in operation in France since the 1960s.
The truth is that successive governments have not properly supported the development of the clean energy technologies best suited to our windswept islands – namely wind, wave and tidal power. Years of weak policy, indecision, planning obstacles and a high-placed political determination to build a new generation of nuclear power stations, regardless of cost, has held back and undermined clean energy in the UK.
But despite poor government policies holding many forms of clean energy back, offshore wind energy in particular has found its market and power from sector is steadily growing. Yet there remains much more that could be done.
What are we doing?
Clean energy already meets around a quarter of electricity demand in the UK. That figure could rise dramatically, helping cut emissions and creating jobs, but only with the right investment.
We’re campaigning hard to make this happen, and to finally put clean energy where it belongs – at the very heart of our energy system.