Will the war In Ukraine accelerate the path to renewable energy?

Jun 24, 2022Uncategorized

The war in Ukraine is a reminder that tyrants are the lowest form of humanity and the apologists who defend them do not deserve our respect or our forgiveness. Putin, like Stalin before him, has evolved into a traitor to his own country. Hubris is the curse of unopposed and complete power and hopefully it will be the downfall of this despot.

After visiting the Communist party detention and interrogation centres in Estonia ourselves, we fully understand why the ex-Soviet states wanted to free themselves from the Russian Bear as quickly as possible. The Georgian parody of the early 2000’s is now being replayed in Ukraine. We fully support Ukraine, its people and their just fight to choose their own destiny.

What does this have to do with green energy? Europe is at the forefront of renewable energy and the UK is probably the leader, when it comes to designing and installing both on and offshore renewable generation solutions. The war in Ukraine will only serve to hasten this transition as Europe moves to rid itself of Russian energy and look towards a greener future.

While the pioneers of fracking were a team of resourceful American engineers, working tirelessly to find a way to harvest shale gas, on this side of the Atlantic, the UK is also blessed with a group of unlikely individuals who have pioneered the UK’s rise from Euro renewable laggards, to the undisputed leaders that our country has today. 

The UK has now entered the era of integrating multiple renewable technologies at both the micro and macro level, from smart metres to offshore floating wind farms – the path is set for a net zero future. In parallel to the rapid rise in the construction of renewable energy installations, the development of the National Grid and the regional Distribution Network Operators (DNO’s) has been no less dramatic. 

Their respective grids and networks have been transformed from one dimensional, one way systems to dynamic, interactive and smart networks. In global terms, this transition has been rapid and nothing short of a phenomenal engineering achievement. Grids and networks now operate in a way that we could only dream of 20 years ago! Not only did we keep those networks largely running and fully operational, but we found new ways to power the country, to reduce our future dependence on dictators and their corrupt revenue streams.  

What’s next?

… A wish list, or the inevitable conclusion to our journey to net zero?

First generation renewable technology is already delivering the cheapest form of energy and the next generation is set to harness even more of nature’s bounty, without the need to destroy our environment and atmosphere.

Hydrogen power – firstly with higher emissions (e.g: brown), will be rapidly succeeded by blue and then green power, replacing our carbon gas supply, to warm our old homes and fuel the heavy-duty trucks of the future.

Ever-larger floating wind turbines, which have not only harnessed the wind, but utilise the engineering lessons we learned when drilling in the North Sea for oil, will be as the Pyramids were to the ancient world, powering us forward in engineering technology.

Heat pumps – both air source and ground source – will be the heating of choice for all new builds.

The UK’s ageing housing stock will get both low tech insulation and high tech Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), to manage time-dependent energy pricing.

All this and more is coming – so ask yourself – do we really need to be dependent on Russian oil and gas?