By Hugh Finlay
In 2017 Britain has cut its carbon emissions more than ever before. Carbon emissions are 50% less than they were in 2013. This was due to the greater use of solar, wind and nuclear energy, and with less use of coal. About 50% of power was produced from non carbon materials. On one day, solar power installations provided more energy than the nuclear power stations.
Over 50% of Britain's power now comes from low-carbon producing energy sources, compared with 2013 when it was 35%. The director of the the National Grid said "It's been a summer of records. The big fundamental shift has been the continuing growth in offshore wind and solar coming on. We've gone from renewables being a part of the mix to often being a significant, majority part of the mix."
The appropriately named, Steve Shine, the head of a new solar park said "I really do believe this is the future, We're not building new CCGT (gas), coal's got to come off, nuclear needs a lot of subsidy, offshore wind is obviously good, but solar is lowest life cost."
UK solar park companies are focusing on including batteries for storing electricity, so that the electricity can be used when the customers need it. This will ensure that solar power is a steady, cheap source of energy for the country.
India will increase access to solar and battery power to help supply rural houses in the country that are not yet electrified - which is about 300 million people, 25% of the country's population. The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, said that he hopes that every home in India will be electrified by early 2019. Most of these homes will receive solar and battery power, rather than being connected to the grid. The project will cost $2.5 billion.
Energy analysts in India recognize that renewable energy, such as solar, will be cheaper than coal, and renewables have the advantage of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Another reason to use solar is that it will cut the reliance on kerosene, in rural areas. Kerosene is a big fire risk and also very polluting.
Hurricane Maria knocked out the Puerto Rico electric grid,causing a blackout. This was not a problem for farmer, Hector Santiago, who has 244 solar panels providing power for his 40 acre farm. He said "Everybody told me I was crazy because it was so expensive. Now I have power and they don't." Hector's competitors will have to patiently wait for diesel to arrive, to start their electric generators.
After the hurricane, Henry Pichardo, a local solar installation expert, was flooded with requests for information about solar power, from people in Puerto Rico. He said "People are going to become more conscious of how they are living, and invest more in solar."