Oooh, a pretty graph! And not printed on the kitchen furniture either (see here). This slightly dotty plot reveals that 2017 will, in theory, be the last year…
… er, where the UK generates more electricity using a source that isn’t renewable. Sometime in 2018, renewable sources will generate more electricity than any other single source in the UK.
It’s been a long time coming, but it is a fantastic thing.
Can we, the average wotsit in the street, help? Of course we can – use less energy! It is difficult to compare electricity use per head of population since, over the years, so many new electrical items have come into existence, some of which quietly eat energy without doing anything. For example, our microwave and washing machine will consume precious energy (which I have to pay for) for the privilege of doing absolutely nothing other than be plugged in. Simply switching them off at the wall saves money and greenhouse gas emissions, so it’s a no-brainer.
Of course, these days almost everyone has a wireless router that is left on 24/7. These devices use a fair bit of electricity over a year for no benefit. I switch ours off at bedtime and on again in the morning, without any apparent problem. [I did, at our ISP’s request , leave it on over a few days and nights last month because apparently we were going to be updated and have a faster connection. I’m still waiting for the latter to happen… and I’m not convinced that anything was updated either.]
Every mains socket at Chez Snail is switched so it makes life easier when it comes to ensuring that the “phantom load” issue – a phrase that was briefly in the news a couple of years ago for about 3 days – is dealt with. The One Watt Initiative gave rise to legislation (EC Regulation 1275/2008, if you’re interested) that now says that manufacturers have to make stuff that consumes no more than 0.5 Watt when in standby mode and 1 watt in standby-plus mode (where the device is providing some kind of status check or something).
So, 2017 should be the last time renewables are second best when it comes to the energy generation mix of the UK. Yay!
Have a wonderful 2017 everyone!