A new report funded by WWF-UK and Greenpeace takes a look at the future of the UK economy through 2030 under two scenarios, more offshore wind power or more natural gas and little growth in wind power. Wind power comes out ahead, by a nose, Renewable Energy World reports.
Assuming that there is steady growth in offshore wind power through 2030, the report finds that UK GDP is 0.8% higher than in the scenario where there is no new offshore wind power after 2020 and significantly more natural gas is used than now for electricity generation.
That comes out to an increase in GDP of £20 billion ($32 billion) by 2030.
The offshore wind power growth scenario also shows that the nation would save £8 billion ($13 billion) each year on natural gas imports through 2030.
The wind power scenario also results in a two-thirds lower carbon emissions, compared to the natural gas scenario.
We Can Choose Our Future Here
Though the numbers will necessarily be different for other nations, the one thing that I really think is not emphasized enough when talking about future energy scenarios is that our future energy use is a choice, a collective societal choice. No one scenario is an inevitability, though all courses of action are constrained by past choices to some degree. Using more fossil fuels and less renewable energy is a choice, never an inevitability, a force of nature.
It's a choice between a stable climate and a destructively unstable one. It's a choice between every nation having a greater degree of energy security and independence and certain nations holding most all of the cards, with others beholden to them, the powerful attempting to control them, through force, often times.