Updated: Dec 11, 2021
Within the sphere of Green Finance there is a growing hue of blue to which we should pay close attention. As the United Kingdom strives towards cutting emissions by 78% compared to 1990 levels, Blue Economy strategies are beginning to come to the forefront of the National Energy and Climate Plan.
So why is a Blue Economy ideal?
The Blue Economy plan proposed by the International Renewable Energy Agency encompasses offshore energy policies and the development of ocean energy technologies.
Interest in offshore wind energy technologies have grown exponentially as more coastal countries realise their potential. From early designs in 1991, the power generated by a single turbine has increased by 20 times and this will only increase with future innovations. At present, the UK leads the world in offshore energy generation capacity with over 7.5million homes being powered by wind turbines alone.
Ocean energy technologies, such as tidal or wave energy solutions, are a crucial complement to offshore energy policies. These methods are more predictable, providing a more continuous source of power than offshore wind farms. Theoretically, up to 45000 terawatt-hours could be generated from these sources.
Nevertheless, the UK’s integrated energy policies are still falling short of expected targets owing to questions of security. The inconsistency of offshore wind energy, coupled with the lack of development in efficient batteries for storing renewable energy for sustained periods stands in the way of true integration. Until these technologies catch up, a blue economy will remain a theory yet to be put into practice.
As future leaders, our greatest contribution to green finance will be putting our mind to developing solutions ourselves, bringing the UK closer to realising a future driven by clean energy with Blue Economy strategies leading the charge.
Teng Jun Yong Andrew
International Renewable Energy Agency. 2020. "Offshore Renewables: Powering The Blue Economy". Abu Dhabi: IRENA. https://www.irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Publication/2020/Dec/IRENA_Offshore_renewables_2020.pdf?la=en&hash=B215CB48487030A431A1B294DFB8ED70BD41B3CB.
"Offshore Wind". 2021. Orsted.Co.Uk. https://orsted.co.uk/energy-solutions/offshore-wind.
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. 2020. "The UK’s Integrated National Energy And Climate Plan". London: The National Archives. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/991649/uk-integrated-national-energy-climate-plan-necp-31-january-2020.pdf.
“Accelerating Energy Innovation for the Blue Economy.” Edited by The Economist Group, The Economist, The Economist Newspaper, https://ocean.economist.com/innovation/articles/energyinnovation.
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