Should The UK Follow America’s Lead In Renewable Energy Financing

With the UK government under increased pressure to clarify their position on long term renewable goals and targets, many of the current energy spectators and renewable energy suppliers could cast an envious eyes towards the U.S. who have just passed a budget with substantial investment into their renewable industry. As part of the America’s long term plan to fill any potential energy gaps with the sector receiving an almost 5% increase in funding.

EERE organisation

Could The UK Follow Suit With Their Own Renewable Funding Increase

This in the short term is unlikely to be the case with the UK government currently involved in many renewable projects the message has been clear that they are looking to make the industry more competitive thus any subsequent funding increases are unlikely. Whilst not admitted but widely speculated this stance from the government is partly perceived to be driven by the desire to expand the UK shale gas market. Such an industry in America is nothing new since they have been proliferating the natural gas for a number of years now steadily increasing the volume produced year by year. In fact the production is up by a third since 2005 and last year alone accounted for close to 40% of the natural gas proliferated within the country.

“A Secure Energy Future”

One notion that has not escaped the U.S. government is that the economy can be stronger with a collaborative energy market rather than solely relying or favoring one sector over another. This has been made clear by the increased spending within the renewable sector while still supporting the shale industry. Such an approach has been discussed in previous releases here, that being that by all sector being maintained and nurtured the economy has a stronger chance to grow and also increase employment within the differing sectors.

Why Does The U.S. Want To Invest So Much Into Renewable Energy

The main reason behind the U.S. administration’s desire to increase solar power output, geothermal and additional spending is diffuse any future energy gap while weaning the country off it’s substantial appetite for oil. While the country does remain a major producer of oil the government recognizing the strength that a sustainable energy market delivered by large scale wind, thermal and solar panels projects can deliver to the U.S. economy.

Double Renewable Electricity Production By 2020

While the UK and Europe included have their own goals for 2020 (EU reduction in carbon policy and increase in renewable) it’s fair to say that the U.S. future energy plans are very impressive. The nation is looking to double electricity from green technology by 2020 which given that is within a 5 year target is quite a target to aim for hence the large scale solar power, thermal, wind and other renewable energy financing projects that are occurring nationwide. Case in point could be the impressive Ivanpah solar power plant that has just begun to generate close to California. Recognized as the largest Solar PV and thermal plant in the world this is just one of the projects that has recently opened or is under construction.

What Can The UK Learn From America’s Energy Finance Plans

While it’s fair to say that the economies of both countries differ greatly what should be acknowledged is the U.S.’s appetite for green energy given also that they haven’t any incentives from the EU to encourage their uptake rates and targets makes their development of the sector furthermore impressive. The main point that the UK government could look to take from the U.S. blueprint for energy is mainly that off continual investment, although the president’s expectation of finance fell by 12% of what he initially intended they still increased financing to the renewable sector by 17% compared to the previous year.

Double Energy Production By 2030

Overall America is looking to double total energy production by 2030 which illustrates the size of the task that the administration is undertaking to stop any potential energy gap. Solar panels, thermal and wind energy as you can understand only form a proportion of this goal but are recognized as an important part this is a notion that currently is lost on the UK government given the recent reported findings here that the UK is drastically under investing within their renewable sector for the future and to meet targets.

How Is America Investing for The Future

As stated the U.S. sees the blueprint for their future energy goals as a collaborative effort and so has invested heavily across many sectors. The financing for the renewable side of operations is governed by the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and they will be disbursing the funding in the the relevant fields to support the countries renewable proportion of the 2030 overall energy goals. While they finance projects they also play a major role in advancing the industry through R&D, development of infrastructures, demonstration, and deployment with the core goal to make the industry as cost effective as possible. With a wide ranging spectrum of areas to oversee from Bioenergy Technologies, Water Power, Building Technologies, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies, Nuclear Energy it’s clear to see that the EERE organization isn’t primarily focused on wind and solar panels power.

Ivanpah solar project

Can The UK’s Renewable Organizations Learn From EERE

It’s a fare point to make that the EERE has a larger budget to work with than the DECC, however what is impressive is the larger emphasis the organization places on developing such a wide ranging amount of renewable areas. While the DECC can be commended for their continual scheme to encourage technology advance such as the recent smart energy funding awards one area they may look to head the example of is the array of projects that EERE focus on and assist. Ultimately the main message is clear that by sustaining investment within a renewable infrastructure the economy and industry has the potential to advance both in size, technologically and sustain private investment.

Some previous related articles of interest:
The renewable power sharing plan
Equal energy prices and what this could mean to the power market
Renewable investment set to increase in the Caribbean

Should The UK Follow America’s Lead In Renewable Energy Financing
The American energy financing model is leading to further demand for renewable energy.

SolarKing UK
solar , solar power projects
What the American financing method could do for the UK energy market.

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March 11, 2014
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