Working towards a better energy world

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Posted 29/08/2019 by E.ON

Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen significant changes to the energy mix in the UK, and globally, as renewable energies continue to develop and the need to replace fossil fuels becomes ever more urgent.

Since the start of the millennium the amount of UK energy coming from renewable sources such as wind, solar, biomass and air source heat pumps has grown considerably. 

Much of this growth comes from offshore and onshore wind farms which now provide 13.8% of total electricity generation in the UK, whereas the combined generation of coal and oil has fallen to just 6.5%. 

Recent figures show that in 2018, 33% of the UK's energy came from renewable sources, and if current trends continue, renewables will be the top UK energy source by 2020. And on the supply side, we’ve recently announced that all our customers’ homes are now backed by 100% renewable electricity.

But it's not just the technologies and natural resources we use undergoing a transformation. How people get involved in generating and using energy is also seeing a big shift. 

So what might the future might bring to energy generation in the UK?

Home energy use

More and more households are taking control of their own energy - both how they use it and how they generate it. 

One of the key enablers to helping consumers unlock the ability to fully understand and control their energy use is smart meters, which allow people to see where they’re using energy and where they can make savings.

The next step is generating your own power. Research by the Solar Trade Association has shown that over a million UK homes are now producing their own solar energy. Air source heat pumps are also growing in popularity and recent research carried out on the Global Heat Pumps Market shows that the number of systems installed in the UK grew by 19.7% in 2018.

Decentralised, digital energy

The move away from large power stations to localised production, such as district heating, will continue to transform the energy sector in coming years. 

Decentralised, digital energy gives consumers much more control over how the energy in the system is managed. With advances such the Internet of Things (IoT), appliances can be switched on and off or into low power modes when a lot of power is expected to be used elsewhere. Not only that, generating and delivering power locally means less is lost in transition as it doesn't have to travel so far. 

As the past two decades have shown, things are developing quickly in the energy world and there are doubtless many more innovations to come. 

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