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The renewable wonders of the world

Renewable wonders of the world

Coal, oil and natural gas. The old fogies of the energy world. These fuels are used all over our planet – but it’s no secret that they’re running out. We all know they won’t be around forever. And sadly, we’ve known for a while now. That’s why it’s so important for countries everywhere to show a commitment to renewables.

In the UK, government statistics (happily) show that the use of renewable energy is growing year on year. It contributed 25% of electricity generation in 2016. But just what are these mysterious renewables that now make up a quarter of our fuel consumption? Well, let us introduce you to… 

  • Onshore and offshore wind power.
  • Bioenergy.
  • Solar energy.
  • Hydropower.

The government encourages the use of these natural energy sources because they reduce carbon emissions and can also be replaced quickly. For example, the UK’s high wind speeds may mean many, many bad hair days for us but they also provide ideal conditions for taking advantage of wind power. This is why the government has made a sensible and sizable investment in onshore and offshore wind farms. 

However, there are plenty of other examples from our neighbours around the world that we could learn from too. So let’s take a look at how other countries are championing natural energy. 

Wind energy

Like the UK, the majority of Denmark’s sustainable energy comes from wind power. And they don’t mess around when it comes to wind energy – in 2015, they broke the world record for production of wind power. In fact, in July of that year, they produced so much power in just one day that they were able to meet all their electricity needs and export another 40% abroad!

Denmark has continued to be a world leader in utilising their windy conditions as a power source and they are well on track for meeting their goal of using wind power to produce half of all their electricity by 2050. The UK could do even better by just copying them.

Geothermal power

Iceland and the Philippines are amongst the top countries contributing to global geothermal power production, which is generated from the Earth’s internal heat. As well as being environmentally friendly, this smart energy source is reliable, sustainable, and cost-effective.

The Philippines recognised the potential of geothermal energy and now rank second (after the USA) in the world’s top geothermal countries – they have 20 geothermal power plants in the country, with another 5 proposed or under construction.

Iceland has also become pioneering when it comes to the generation of geothermal energy. The country is located over a rift in continental plates which makes it incredibly tectonically active, with a large number of volcanoes, hot springs and earthquakes – idea for geothermal power. Iceland’s green energy stats are very, VERY impressive: 100% of their electricity is generated from renewables. We’re pretty jealous, to tell the truth. And not just because of those hot springs.

Tidal energy

Tidal energy – a form of hydropower – is widely used in Norway. The country is home to some of the strongest tidal currents in the world, namely the Saltstraumen strait – where 400,000,000 cubic metres of seawater passes through every six hours. So cleverly, Norway have utilised their extreme tidal and ocean conditions to create a powerful alternative energy source.

They’re leading the way in terms of renewable hydropower, which feeds over half of the country’s domestic energy consumption. According to research by the University of Oslo, Norway’s energy supply could be fully-sustainable by 2030. Which is a heck of a lot sooner than the UK, even with our recent efforts.  

Even more natural energy sources

Renewable natural gas

Natural gas can be used as a sustainable energy source if it’s renewable – and, in fact, it is readily available. For example, you can find the largest gas reserve in the world in Turkmenistan, at the Darvaza gas crater. Known to locals as the ‘Door to Hell’ (don’t let that put you off), it was set on fire by Russian geologists in 1971 to prevent the methane gas from spreading and it’s been burning ever since – almost four decades later. Although not currently used to generate power, it’s an example of the kind of natural gases that could be utilised to create sustainable energy sources.

Lightning energy

This one sounds fun, doesn’t it? Lightning strikes are another naturally occurring event that produce huge amounts of electricity. On average, each strike can generate five million joules, so finding a way to harness this power could be a huge advance in renewable energy. You may think that this would be difficult as lightning doesn’t strike twice, but in fact Catatumbo River in Venezuela experiences 1.2 million lightning strikes each year, showing a natural phenomenon that could be harnessed as a natural energy source.

It’s all pretty inspiring, huh?

Tackling carbon emissions has thankfully become a priority across the globe, with many countries using renewable energy sources more and more. And now, some energy companies in the UK have made it their priority too.

Renewable energy is now standard in many energy tariffs – our own monthly tariffs come with at least 33% of energy from renewable sources. So why not follow the positive examples set by countries like Iceland and Norway, and make your energy consumption greener without even having to think about it?

Image courtesy of iStock

O​VO​ Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879

Additional terms and conditions
Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.

 

1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount.  All rates correct as of 06/06/2017, but may go up or down.

2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas).  All rates correct as of 06/06/2017, but may go up or down.

3Pay Monthly Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYM OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 03/11/2016 and 06/06/2017. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location. 

4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location. 

We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.

33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.

3% interest: Calculated at 3% per year for customers paying by advance direct debit.  The OVO Interest Reward is paid monthly based on   number of days in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill,  and the credit balance on which you can earn the OVO Interest Reward is capped. Terms apply: http://www.ovoenergy.com/terms/

95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Savings based on the average estimated annual costs for all new OVO customers quoted through the OVO website, compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/05/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT.

94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.

Britain's top rated energy provider: Britain's top rated energy provider in the Which? 2015 satisfaction survey. Survey conducted in October 2015. Awarded in January 2016.

uSwitch's Energy Supplier of the Year: OVO energy was voted and awarded  'Energy Supplier of the year' and best for: Overall Customer Satisfaction, Most Likely to be Recommended, Value for Money, Best Deal for You, Customer Service, Billing Services, Energy Efficiency, Meter Services, Online Services, Green Services and Transfer Process. OVO Energy scored a 96% customer satisfaction score.

Which?: Achieved the highest score of 78% in the Which? Satisfaction Survey conducted in September and October 2016.

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