So the proverb says, we live in interesting times. 2050 may seem like aeons away, but 33 years from 2017 isn’t really that distant. By then, scientists think that almost 140 countries would have ditched fossil fuels for good. Should China ditch the fossil fuels for the solar panels, there would be a significant drop in carbon dioxide emissions. Likewise if the UK ditched petrol and diesel, in favour of electric cars.
Furthermore, such radical steps would increase life expectancy and create 24 million jobs worldwide. Whereas the UK has set the trend for generating electricity in a non-carbon way, it has fallen behind in terms of heating systems and transport emissions (please electrify the Hull line - and the one to Scarborough via Beverley, thank you very much).
Our nearest city, Hull, isn’t slacking in the race to boost our green credentials. Energy Works on Cleveland Street, off Mount Pleasant, is a renewable energy generator which recycles 250,000 tonnes of waste and powers 43,000 homes within Kingston-upon-Hull City Council boundaries. Green Port Hull is helping to wean us off fossil fuels by using a former coal dock. This will be a renewable energy powerhouse with windmills facing the Humber Estuary.
With the price of solar panels falling, they could be a common part of our homes. In other words, as ubiquitous as television aerials or satellite dishes. In addition to charging points for electric cars, a new generation of wafer thin solar panels could be seen on car roofs, if the vehicle is ‘off grid’.
Could the United Kingdom ditch fossil fuels by 2050? Only time will tell but we are getting there, slowly but surely.
Mertech Electrical, 5th September 2017.