Renewables and domestic energy, lessons from Europe, Part 1

This is how the UK is doing on renewable energy:

Renewables share of gross inland consumption 2007

Source: Eurostat database (

To be fair, Malta is missing (because it is so bad the data is either negligible or missing), so we aren't absolutely the worst in Europe, just very nearly.

Notice that we are actually the best in Europe at biogas, which is mainly down to our prowess at landfill gas, the one renewable technology in which the UK is a world leader. Which would be why the Government is trying to kill it, of course; cutting its rewards for carbon-reduction by 75% (i.e. to ¼ of its previous level), while keeping the equally mature onshore wind at its previous level, and bumping up some of the speculative technologies to 8 times more "valuable" than landfill gas. Imagine how bad we would/will look without landfill gas.*

And notice that the two dominant colours are deep blue and deep green, for wood and hydro respectively. The trendy renewables of wind and PV are really quite insignificant, contrary to the claims of many in the industry.

Anyway, we might come back to this graph to learn some other lessons, but it is often alleged that the main difference between the countries is their luck with regard to natural resources, particularly hydro. So let's look (on the next page) at the share of gross energy consumption attributable to new renewables (developed since 1990).

* Not coincidentally, landfill gas is the renewable technology that the Vertically-Integrated Large Energy (VILE) companies and big financial institutions have had least to do with. It has been developed, as innovation tends to be, by genuinely entrepreneurial, innovative and competitive independent companies funding risky developments from their balance sheets, not oligopolistic behemoths whose main interest is maintenance of the status quo, and City institutions looking for maximum return with minimal risk. In the case of landfill gas, these innovators were a combination of some of the waste disposal companies and some independent renewable-energy companies like Summerleaze, FF's parent.

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