In the UK’s bid to be carbon neutral by 2050, renewable energy is centre stage. It’s clean, green, and harnesses natural sources. Solar powerwind powergeothermal powerhydro power, and tidal power can all help us tackle many of the world’s most pressing problems.

Renewable energy helps combat global warming, climate change, air pollution, and ocean acidity. It also helps us reduce our carbon footprints – and it even creates new jobs.

Thankfully, these days, it’s becoming more and more popular – all over the world.

Here are 20 facts that reveal the huge potential of renewables. And as we look to the future, they highlight just how much it’s developed and how powerful it can be, in shaping an energy system that’s fit for the 21st century.

  1. Wind energy is the largest source of renewable power in the UK. There are almost 11,000 turbines on and offshore, generating nearly 66 million MWh of electricity a year. That’s the equivalent of powering over 18 million homes1!.

  2. Coal only generates 29% of its original value in energy. But wind power generates 1,164% of its original value!

  3. According to Bloombergglobal investment in clean energy hit just over $500 billion in 2020, with an increase of 9% compared to 2019.

  4. Renewable energy creates more jobs for women. A recent report shows that women hold 32% of renewables jobs, compared to just 21% in fossil fuel roles.

  5. Siemens built the first-ever commercial offshore wind turbine 30 years ago. Its blades were a modest 5 metres long, and it created just 30 kilowatts of power. But the latest model (since becoming Siemens Gamesa) is immense – with 108-metre-long blades, on a 222-meter diameter rotor. Just one turbine can generate enough electricity to power around 18,000 homes every year.

  6. Hydropower is the most widely-used renewable power source. It accounts for more than 54% of the global renewable power generation capacity, and 18% of the world’s total power generation.

    hydro energy
  7. Costa Rica is a world leader in renewable energy. In 2017, this small Central American nation lasted 300 consecutive days on renewable energy alone.

  8. Switching to wind, water, and solar worldwide could eliminate 4 to 7 million deaths from air pollution every year.

  9.  Just to give you an idea of the tremendous potential of solar power – every hour, the sun beams enough solar energy onto Earth to keep everyone on our planet supplied with electricity for an entire year. Pretty incredible, eh?

  10. Between 2007 and 2017, the world’s renewable electricity sourced from solar power increased a whopping 4,300%.

  11. Romans were the very first to use geothermal energy to heat their homes, building systems that encouraged warm air to move under floors and inside walls.

  12. world record was set in 1990, when a solar-powered aeroplane flew across the United States in stages, using no fuel at all.

  13. Renewable energy currently creates 5 times more jobs than fossil fuels. The number of renewable energy jobs grew from 1.7 million in 2004, to 10.3 million in 2017, and 11.5 million in 2019. This is according to the annual review from International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).switch to ovo energy

  14. Did you know that, way back in 1921, Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the photoelectric effect? It’s what led to the invention of solar panels!

  15. The renewable energy industry is growing fast. By 2030, the global market is expected to be worth $1.9 billion!

  16. The Itaipu Dam in Paraguay creates 76% of the country’s electricity, and 17% of the electricity consumed in Brazil (displacing 67.5 million tonnes of CO2 every year).

  17. Iceland is the only country in the world where renewable sources generate 100% of both its electricity and heat.

  18. NASA has been developing space technology that could give the world’s population affordable green energy from an unlikely source – the moon! Their Watts on the Moon project is inviting ideas to solve the tasks of storage, sourcing and managing energy, all from our nearest neighbour.

  19. China built 100GW-worth of wind farms in 2020 – that’s more than the rest of the world built in 2019! These wind farms alone could generate enough power for almost 3 times the number of homes in the UK.

  20. All the world’s power could be generated by renewables by 2050 if the right political, financial, and societal decisions are made (and made fast!).

    renewable energy sources

What’s so cool about renewable energy?

  • It will never run out. Unlike fossil fuels, which are depleting our planet more each day, renewable energy is a never-ending supply. Because it’s created by natural resources like the sun, wind, and water, we’ll always be able to keep making energy.
  • It protects the environment. There are no nasty carbon emissions produced by green energy. This means less air pollution and global warming.
  • No water is used to generate wind and solar energy. Traditional electricity is generated by gas, coal or nuclear heating water to create steam to turn the turbines. This uses around 60,000 gallons of water per MWh of electricity. Wind and solar energy on the other hand use no water to generate electricity.  Hydropower relies on flowing or falling water of course, but it doesn’t need heat for power.
  • It creates jobs. Renewable energy jobs are on the rise with a huge breadth of roles and career paths available.

To find out much more about how renewable energy is shaping our future, take a look at our informative guides.

Join OVO for a greener future

Just by joining OVO, you can play an important role in the UK’s journey to net zero. For a start, we’ll help you reduce your carbon footprint, by supplying you with 100% renewable electricity2.

And, in partnership with The Woodland Trust, we’ll also plant a carbon-munching tree in your name, every year you’re with us3. Plus, if you choose our even greener upgrade, OVO Beyond, you’ll get 100% carbon-neutral energy4 and 5 extra trees planted every year.

If you don’t already have a smart meter, you can get one for free with our Home Energy Plans. A smart meter shows how much energy you’re using in real time – which can help you save energy at home. Smart meters play a big part in getting the UK ready for a future powered by renewables.

By Samuel 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it will implement 10 percent banking sector credit to the agriculture sector, by 2024.

This is from the current four percent, indicating a six percent increase.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele made the disclosure at the Bankers Committee summit in Lagos.

Nigeria remains one of the largest producers of exportable agricultural commodities, with high revenue generation potential, if properly tapped.

A group of international trade experts had made this submission during a virtual town hall meeting hosted by the Network of Practicing Non-Oil Exporters of Nigeria (NPNEN), as reported by AgroNigeria.

Similarly, the CBN Governor stated that the bank would scale up efforts to prioritise non-oil commodity export.

“Over the next three years, we will continue to encourage the banking sector to increase its loans to the agriculture sector from four percent to 10 percent by 2024.

“We intend to aggressively implement our N500 billion facility aimed at supporting the growth of our non-oil exports, which will help to improve non-oil export earnings.

“Exporters will be further encouraged to repatriate their export proceeds as stipulated under our extant laws. The CBN will continue to ensure that exporters have unfettered access to their export proceeds,” he said.

According to Emefiele, the decision is hinged on the need for the banking sector to play a principal role in the economic recovery of the nation.

By Samuel

The Federal Government has taken a major step to expand Nigeria’s capacity in the production of wheat after it entered into a partnership agreement with Crown Flour Mills.

According to the government, the partnership is a deliberate attempt to reduce the influx of wheat importation and conserve the much-needed foreign exchange.

This development was revealed by the Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, who added that the Federal Ministry of Rural Development (FMARD) was making concerted efforts to ensure food security and create jobs in the agriculture sector.

In a statement by FMARD on Sunday, Nanono who played host to officials from Crown Flour Mills led by the Corporate Affairs Manager, Damilola Adeniyi, lauded the firm for its resolve in seeking to expand the wheat sub-sector.

The minister revealed that the initiative will see to the provision of quality seeds and distribution of agricultural inputs to Nigerian farmers to boost their yields.

Citing other initiatives for the wheat sub-sector, particularly those in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Flour Milling Association of Nigeria, Transformation for Africa Agricultural Technologies and the Wheat Compact Project.

He assured that Nigeria would soon experience a total sufficiency in the production of wheat and also for export purposes.

On her part, Adeniyi disclosed that the project would see to the provision of new seed varieties and modern technology to facilitate the growth and expansion of wheat production.

She divulged that her company planned to introduce the findings of a research trial it conducted recently on the cultivation of a heat-tolerant variety of wheat.

Crown Flour Mills, she said, sought to seek the collaboration of the ministry on wheat production, adding that the initiative will enhance the quality of wheat produce across the country.

By Samuel

The Chinese firm, Chinese Green Industry Company has said it will invest $50 million in Nigeria’s agricultural sector through a partnership with a Nasarawa State-based farmers’ group, Nigerian Farmers Group and Cooperative (NFGCC).

A Consultant and Representative of the firm, Li Jian made this known on Saturday, after a visit to the NFGCS Managing Director, Mr. Reston Tedheke, who also doubles as the National Coordinator of the group.

According to Jian, the firm will invest in warehousing, dairy, machinery upgrade, improved seedlings, and animal feed, across the value chain.

A report by Daily Trust revealed that she affirmed being in talks with other partners from Korea, Japan, and India.

“I have seen what you have here and we are going to take the project in phases. This will depend on the area of interest.

“I will talk with partners from Japan, Korea, and India. The money is not the issue but how they can be properly utilized,” she said.

On his part, the Managing Director of NFGCS expresses optimism in the prospects of this partnership.

According to him, the collaboration would create more job opportunities for locals; seeing that Nigerian-Asian partnerships have always yielded great results.

“The interest of the Chinese company and our partnership with them will further boost productivity and create more job opportunities for people,” he asserted.

By Samuel 

The Federal Government through its Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has trained Extension Agents in the Southwest area on better yam cultivation practices.

The Director, Federal Department of Agriculture in the Ministry, Karima Babangida, explained the essence of the training workshop, which is to appraise the extension delivery services in yam value chain development.

She made this known at the opening ceremony of the training workshop themed; ‘Role of Extension Workers in Yam Value Chain Transformation for Food Security in the Face of COVID-19 Pandemic’ at Ijebu-Ife, Ogun State.

According to the Director, several factors in the value chain have made the adoption of technology-driven extension services, imperative.

“Since effective extension service delivery is key to boosting agricultural productivity, increasing food security, improving rural livelihoods, and promoting agriculture as an engine of pro-poor economic growth, it becomes necessary to organize this workshop.

“Yam value chain has transformed greatly in the last ten years but little is known of the impact of extension service in the process. I am convinced therefore that at the end of this workshop, you would have had an improved understanding of an effective extension service delivery.

“The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is expanding daily. Governments around the globe are confronted with multiple challenges related to minimizing the devastating health impact and protecting human lives and ensuring sufficient food supplies and the functioning of services to those most in need.

“All this, while coping with the economic consequences of COVID-19, is expected to push an additional 548 million people below the poverty line.

She further stated that traditional extension service delivery has become rather expensive and consequently, hardly accessible. The geographical location of farmers, as well as governance challenges, has also made it hard to access, she added.

This, she said, has made the incorporation of ICT in modern-day extension service delivery, important.

She said, “ICT applications have the potential to address some of the challenges. Compared to face-to-face extensions, they are cheaper because they do not rely on costly and time-consuming travelling.

“It allows for more timely and regular provision of farming advice to farmers in their local dialects.

“In addition, a holistic approach to agricultural extension service goes beyond technology transfer for major crops.

“It also includes enhancing the management and technical skills of farm households relating to production, and postharvest management of high-value crops like yam; sustainable natural resource management; family health care and nutrition.”

By Samuel

About 3.8 million farmers have so far benefited from the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said.

The Director, Development Finance Department of the bank, Yila Yusuf, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.

He also disclosed that the apex bank has stopped receiving cash from the beneficiaries, as repayment for their loans

According to him, the new repayment method will encourage more farmers to take charge of the opportunities inherent in the scheme.

He explained, “We rate every single commodity they produce and guarantee the prices. This will encourage more farmers to enroll in the programme.”

Yusuf further stated that N554.61 billion had been disbursed through the programme since its inception in 2015.

He stated that the programme, since its inception, has succeeded in creating more jobs and charting the country on its way to food security, particularly during the lockdown, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have to commend President Buhari for putting the ABP in place. Over 3.8 million farmers have so far benefited from the programme.

“The multiplier effect on the economy is huge.

“The ABP has helped farmers improve their yields. For maize, we now do five metric tonnes per hectare and for rice, we’re improving from four metric tonnes to 10 metric tonnes per hectare.

“We will be trying out some Brazilian seeds that we will give to the anchors and their association,” he asserted.

The director also assured that the government, through the programme, would improve rice and maize cultivation practices, thereby stabilising the market prices.

He said, “We realised that the prices of maize are continuously increasing.

“What we have done is to guarantee all the output from the anchor and put it into the strategic programme and release to the millers.

“This is to warn those hoarding the produce that the prices will crash and they will lose”.

By Samuel 

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has warned members of the public to disregard the ‘fake empowerment form’ already circulating in the public domain.

The attention of ministry was drawn to the form which purports that access to agribusiness funds will be granted to successful applicants.

According to FMARD, the form did not emanate from the ministry and it has not issued an empowerment form to access funds for agribusinesses.

The ministry issued a disclaimer on Wednesday in a series of tweets via its handle (@FmardNg) on the micro-blogging platform, Twitter.

Describing the form as a scam, FMARD said that such an empowerment program will always be made public on its website and across its verified social media platforms.

It said, “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has been drawn to a fake empowerment form from the ministry.

“This is to notify members of the public that the ministry did not issue an empowerment form to access fund for Agribusiness as being currently circulated. It is a scam.

‘’In line with the policy of the ministry, such empowerment program will always be made public on the ministry website and across social media platforms of the ministry. Be careful. Thank you!!!’’

By Samuel

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has strengthened ties with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop a strategic plan for the Nigerian Cashew Industry spanning the next 10 years.

The ministry in a press statement on Sunday revealed that the Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Sabo Nanono signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the USDA-West Africa PRO-Cashew Project to expand the value chain and create more job opportunities.

According to Nanono, the Cashew Project in Nigeria will advance the national hectarage of the crop and improve productivity as well as the country’s food security and revenue generation.

The project is targeted at boosting the increased production capacity of cashew from 260,000MT in 2020 to 350,000MT by 2023 and processing capacity from 15 percent in 2020 to 35 percent by 2023.

Its details were revealed during the signing of the MoU and an Interactive Session with officials of the USDA-West Africa PRO-Cashew Project at the Ministry’s Conference Hall in Abuja.

As part of the project, the minister has also constituted the Cashew Value Chain Working Committee to dissect the value chain and kick-start operations with the foreign collaborators.

The members of the committee include the various stakeholders in the cashew value chain chaired by Mr. Roland Oroh, Managing Director, the Nigeria Agribusiness Registrar and Mrs Karima Babangida, Director, Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA) as a member.

In Nanono’s remarks, the project was pertinent since cashew ranks as the 2nd Non-oil export foreign exchange earner for the country and generated about $500Million for the country in 2018. He said the government was fully committed to developing the commodity for export.

“Currently the National production capacity of Cashew in 2020 was 260,000MT on 100,000ha of land. Average yield was 600kg/ha as against the global average of 1.230kg/ha,” Nanono said.

The minister added that the USDA West Africa PRO-Cashew Project and other stakeholders will work in tandem with the ministry to achieve the set target and help the country guide future interventions and woo investors to grow the value chain.

The project is also said to be implemented in partnership with Implemented by cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international development organization headquartered in Washington, DC.

Chief of Party/Managing Director of the USDA West Africa PRO-Cashew Project, Mr. Jeans Francois Guay, who revealed this added that the five-year project will build the capacity of farmers’ organisations and agro- good suppliers in the areas of service delivery and business as well as orchard management.

He explained that the project can catalyze up to $10 million investment opportunities, create jobs, strengthen public and private partnerships, and improve trade and cashew farmers’ productivity in the value chain.

In her remarks, Director, Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA), Mrs Karima Babangida lauded the USDA West Africa PRO-Cashew Project its intervention strategies to improve the Cashew sector in Nigeria and the West Africa Sub-region – alongside Benin, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.

Notable stakeholders present at the signing included; the President of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), Hon. Ojo Ajanaku; the Executive Director Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Dr.Adeola Patrick; the Manager West Africa, GrainPro Inc., Mr Olu Adeyemi; Mr Bishnu Pattanaik of Huxley; among others.