As the UK’s net zero targets grow ever closer, local councils are taking it upon themselves to improve the sustainability of their towns and cities. Cornwall is leading this initiative with its geo-thermal technology and ambitious post-Covid recovery plans. This impressive agenda includes floating wind power, lithium mining, electric car batteries and geothermal energy.
The pandemic has meant that travel and tourism sectors across the world have taken a huge hit. With people confined to their homes, places like Cornwall which rely on yearly tourism income have suffered a great deal. This reliance in addition to a higher than average number of small businesses and self-employed saw 72,800 jobs put at risk. This equates to 27% of the county’s workforce according to Cornwall Council.
Earlier this year the spotlight was turned on Cornwall as it hosted the 2021 G7 summit. The summit itself was entirely carbon neutral, showcasing the county’s focus on sustainability. 37% of Cornwall’s electricity is already generated from renewable sources, which has increased significantly since just 6% in 2009. The county plans to reach net zero in 2030, 20 years earlier than the national net zero target.
Renewable energy in Cornwall
Cornwall has been a leader in renewable energy since creating the UK’s first commercial windfarm in 1991. The county is now working with Welsh and Irish governments to build floating windfarms. These farms will be located in the Celtic Sea and are set to bring green electricity to tens of thousands of homes.
Aside from travel and tourism income, Cornwall also have a heavy reliance on agriculture. Earlier this year a leading South-West agricultural college was awarded £1.2 million towards a project to help Cornish farmers become carbon neutral. The sector has been spotlighted over recent years for its impact on climate change. Making it a huge project, and an even bigger achievement for the county.
Cornwall is blessed with its fortuitous geographical location. Being a coastal area, it benefits from offshore wind, but there may be even more power to be found below ground. The county’s United Downs site is a planned geothermal energy plant which is aimed to begin operations by 2022. Geothermal energy is harnessed through using steam to produce electricity. This is generated from reservoirs of hot water of up to 180°C found miles below the earth’s surface. The steam then rotates a turbine that activates a generator which produces the electricity.
This form of energy has huge potential in helping to decarbonise the UK’s heat supply. And the geological structure of the granite in Devon and Cornwall makes it ideal for generating this power. By harnessing natural assets, Cornwall are recovering post-Covid and creating jobs, all while they tackle harmful carbon emissions.
Learn more about geothermal energy’s future in the UK by downloading our renewable energy guide.
Where does Monarch come in?
Cornwall are leading the UK toward net zero, and it is now time for the rest of us to catch up. Employing sustainable schemes, switching to green tech and focusing on clean energy are just some of the ways in which businesses of all sizes can take a step in the right direction.
At Monarch, our aim is to help you to help the planet. With our end-to-end support, we are able to understand the inner workings of your business and identify the correct services tailored to your needs.
Get in touch today to learn more about how Monarch can help you take steps towards your own sustainable future.