Just outside the M25, operating out of a renovated egg farm, is one of largest renewable energy developers in the world: Renewable Energy Systems (RES) Holdings Limited.
Beaufort Court in Kings Langley is the innovative energy-sufficient low-carbon head offices for RES. The offices energy load is largely met onsite with a host of impressive renewable technologies.
This quaint building which once housed 60 employees has played a central role in the development of the global renewable energy market. Now a global business with over 700 staff in 15 offices across the world, RES offer a range of bespoke renewable energy development projects across industrial, public and commercial sectors.
As well as providing a displaying case of technologies and a global HQ, Beaufort Court also houses a popular visitor centre which runs tours and educational events for schools, community groups and professionals.
Established in 1982, RES was part of the Sir Robert McAlpine construction and engineering group, responsible for such Capital treasures as The Millennium Bridge (2000), The ExCel Exhibition Centre (2000) and Arsenal’s Emirates stadium (2006).
One of RES principle activities is the development, construction and operation of medium to large-scale wind farms. RES is the world’s leading wind energy developers, currently with 89 wind farms operational world-wide.
With climate change on the horizon, clean renewable energy sources, such as wind power are to play a significant part of mitigation. Wind power is plentiful and together with the surrounding seas, the UK arguably has the best resources in Europe for wind farming.
UK has signed up to the EU Renewable energy directive which translates to a target of 15% renewable energy generation by 2020. Current policy sees the UK generating less than 6%. The largest scope for renewable energy is the electricity sector. Of this, the large majority (62%) is projected to come from onshore and offshore wind farms. Currently, wind power is the most viable and feasible renewable tech at our disposal.
Our tour guide spoke of the considerable challenge of achieving the 2020 target, in regards of the (lack of) skills necessary and supply chain security. Political will has increased massively in the past few years driven by climate change and energy security. The current gap between where we are now and where we need to be in no less than ten years time is colossal. Is it achievable?
The answer could very well be blowing in the wind.
Birkbeck College Msc Climate Change Management