Public demands government acts faster to develop clean energy
Published: 12 February 2020 - Carly Wills
Despite recent figures from the National Grid showing more power in the UK came from renewable than fossil fuels for the first time in 2019, new research released by Siemens Gas and Power UK & Ireland reveals that 71 per cent of UK consumers believe the government should be acting faster to develop clean energy.
According to the Siemens research, the public want to see even bolder steps taken to move the UK towards clean energy sources and net zero carbon – and they expect the state to lead the charge. Nearly one-third of UK adults (32 per cent) insist the government should be most responsible for supporting renewable energy usage in the UK.
In order to increase the pace of change taking us towards a cleaner energy future, consumers are demanding greater investment in renewable power sources across the UK. More than one-quarter (27 per cent) of adults believe that the UK government should invest more in renewable fuels, including solar power, wind energy and hydrogen as a replacement for natural gas.
Hydrogen power is an alternative to natural gas which can be produced by separating water (H2O) into its component elements of hydrogen and oxygen. Although the UK currently has only small hydrogen supplies, it offers the potential to produce power and heat without carbon emissions or big changes in consumer behaviour. Making hydrogen from water is also a way of storing renewable energy from wind farms so it is available even when the wind is not blowing.
Notably, the study found that younger consumers are far more knowledgeable about hydrogen power and are more open to this as a new source of energy. Nearly one-third (30 per cent) of millennials and 22 per cent of Generation Z already know a lot about hydrogen energy, compared to only three per cent of baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964).
Many also see this green fuel as a priority for national development in order to meet UK net zero targets to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In fact, 16 per cent of millennials and 14 per cent of Generation Z consumers believe that the UK government should invest more in the hydrogen energy network.