SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

Renewable energy and the UK energy mix

On Monday 13 March BBC Radio Sussex interviewed Dr Florian Kern, Senior Lecturer at SPRU and co-director of the Sussex Energy Group, in a programme discussing renewables and whether they can meet our energy needs.

Dr Kern, an expert on renewable energy, discussed the potential of offshore wind power in the UK as the first wind turbine was installed over the weekend at Rampion’s first offshore wind farm along the Sussex coast.

‘There is higher wind speeds out at sea…you can build a lot bigger machines that capture more energy out at sea and this is one of the advantages’ – explained Dr Kern.

Besides wind and solar, he also reflected on nuclear energy, gas and coal and what role each has in the UK’s energy mix. The discussion concluded that switching to renewables is key if we want to achieve our climate targets, but a crucial part of the equation is reducing our energy demand.

‘Electricity consumption in the UK has been going down rather than up even though there has been economic growth, even though there has been population growth and all this is down to increasing efficiency’ stated Dr Kern.

Listening to the rest of the programme, Dr Kern provided Twitter comments which were read out by the radio host. 

Listen to the full interview (from 17:25).

Read the Storify.

Dr Kern’s research combines ideas and approaches from innovation studies as well as policy analysis and political science to investigate the politics and governance of innovation for low carbon energy systems and sustainability transitions more generally. He leads a project on policy synergies and trade-offs at the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand.



Image by Kaly99 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons