In September 2013 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the Fifth Assessment Report briefing in its climate change series. Garnering international attention, the report has concluded that scientist’s are now 95% certain that humans are the ‘dominant cause’ of global warming [IPCC, 2013]. The report follows decades of scientific consensus around the potential of anthropogenic causes of climate change.
Whilst political, social and economic discussion has continued, the engineering world has been working strenuously to provide affordable and efficient methods of renewable energy generation.
In response to anxiety and European Union legislation, Westminster and Devolved National Governments have offered financial assistance in a number of different ways to expand the implementation of renewable micro-generation in the UK.
For small-scale installations, there are many different forms of renewable low-carbon energy generation. Scotland’s most utilized resource is on-shore wind, with an installed generation capacity in 2013 of 4.07 GW [Scottish Renewables, 2013]. The most effective way to capture potential energy supplied by the environment is to spread the generation responsibilities across different forms of renewable technology [Department of Energy and Climate Change, 2013]; however, the most utilised resource in Scotland is wind energy.
In the modern world, electricity has become imperative to the survival of our lives as we know them. Electricity illuminates homes and supplies factories with sufficient power to run the machines that make industry thrive. It helps to improve the standard of living and the economy of Governments. Electricity is also used heavily in transport and services to ensure efficient travel for millions of commuters, every day. The demand for power in the past few decades has increased enormously and is expected to keep growing, with particular acceleration being seen in emerging economies [International Energy Agency, 2013]. Further advancements in technology; such as electric vehicles [Qian, 2011], rising population levels and emerging economies continue to be the main contributors to the increasing global demand for electricity [Qian, 2011. International Energy Agency, 2013].
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