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February, 2020

5 surprising facts about energy

26/02 2020Posted by: 4mat 4mat, 4mat Subscribe to this blog
With the energy and technology sectors being so intrinsically linked it’s no surprise that the face of energy has been changing at such a dramatic pace; technological developments have been the driving force behind decarbonisation and the widescale production of renewable energy. Our governments, scientists and energy suppliers are working collaboratively to pave the way towards a carbon neutral world, but that’s not to say that traditional energy sources will become obsolete. Find out more with these five surprising facts about energy.

Gas-fired power plants emit 50% less carbon than other fossil fuels, such as coal.

A gas-fired power plant - or natural gas power plant – generates clean electricity by burning natural gas. According to the International Energy Agency’s Global CO2 Emissions in 2019 report, efficiencies in the production of this energy saw a 45% drop in gas prices from 2018 to 2019. The report also states that 2019 marked the first time that output from gas-fired power plants overtook coal-fired ones. And RWE Generation UK have been at the forefront of this change, with a gas fleet that ranks fourth in Europe. But we view this as a starting position in the race to the top as gas starts to play an increasingly important role as a bridge into the age of renewables.

In 2018 UK greenhouse emissions were 44% below the rate in 1990

The UK’s carbon emissions have declined each year since the 2008 Climate Change Act while our economy has continued to grow year-on-year. In fact, CO2 emissions – the main greenhouse gas – are at the lowest rate they’ve been since Queen Victoria reigned our country. This progress wouldn’t have been possible without the reduction in emissions from the energy and transport sectors. RWE’s CO2 reduction path has a target to be carbon neutral by 2040, which we aim to achieve through the closure of several power plants and the full implementation of the recommendations of the Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment.

The UK government has invested a further £70 million in carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS)

In their Clean Growth report, our government announced this staggering investment in the international CCUS programme. The initiative - founded in 2017 - looks to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and transport it to permanent underground storage. This will mean that the CO2 emitted by all our industries can be transferred safely and no longer contribute to anthropogenic climate change, or global warming as it’s more commonly known. The substantial investment is a bid for the UK to become a global leader in the production of CCUS technology and reduce the associated costs so that our nation can maximise our economic gain from the process.

The hydropower industry directly employs more than 2 million people worldwide 

Hydropower is energy generated from the water cycle - which is powered itself by the sun - making it a renewable energy source. A major benefit of this energy source is that it can transfer power to the grid immediately, making it optimal as a back-up source and essential for power cut issues or general disruptions to the grid. Since hydropower employs millions of people and provides low-cost energy all over the globe it’s great for economies. It also has many geographical benefits because when hydropower stations are multi-purposed as reservoirs they aid the management of freshwater. This water can be directed to our crops and homes but more importantly help mitigate flood or drought crises.

Almost 40% of energy consumption from renewable and waste sources is from Biomass

The biggest benefit of biomass is that we can infinitely produce it because the organic sources – food waste, manure and wood – are continuously generated. And, due to photosynthesis, these sources release the same amount of carbon into the atmosphere that they take, which means they are carbon neutral. In our endeavour to reach our carbon neutral target by 2040, RWE aim to have converted two of our power plants in the Netherlands to burn biomass by 2030.

Bring your energy career to RWE

If you want to be a part of the energy revolution, then we want to hear from you. RWE currently recruit for roles in the UK, Germany, Singapore and the Netherlands - browse our job offers here. Or filter your search by our experience levels; we offer roles from apprenticeship up to professional.
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