June 14, 2013

The government-created Green Investment Bank (GIB) is said to be ready to commit to a staggering total of £635 million into renewable energy initiatives to bring the UK closer to a vision of reducing carbon emissions by more than a third (34%) and deriving 15% of all energy from renewable by 2020.

Here are just some of the initiatives that the GIB and others have invested in recently, with the possibility of increasing their investment shortly:

Anaerobic digestion - Biogas

The Friends of the Earth describe anaerobic digestion (AD) in the following way: “a treatment that composts this waste [biodegradable waste] in the absence of oxygen, producing a biogas that can be used to generate electricity and heat.”

The GIB has argued that projects involving AD are "at the heart" of its strategies for waste management, and has said that it is currently contemplating investing as much as £50m in the sector.

Experts have argued that AD may be capable of meeting 10% of the UK’s gas demand, while providing a boost to the economy to the tune of up to £3bn and creating 35,000 jobs.

Tidal power

A £650m tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay and a Severn Estuary title power barrage are just some of the proposals currently being contemplated as part of the UK’s tidal power industry.

Dr Nicholas Yates from the National Oceanography Centre, co-author of a report into tidal current energy released earlier this year, argues that tidal energy has the potential to meet some of the UK’s energy needs. Speaking to BBC News, he said:

“From tidal barrages you can reasonably expect you can get 15% of UK electricity needs, that's a very solid number.”

Despite the increasing focus on renewable energy, it seems that non-renewable energy sources, such as those that go into creating heating oil, will be prominent for some time. 

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