Free delivery on our app + discounts for all ManoMano.Terms & conditions apply
Who are we
What is the energy transition?

What is the energy transition?

Julie, Interior Designer, Manchester

Guide written by:

Julie, Interior Designer, Manchester

40 guides

Energy transition is a global effort to tackle climate change and deal with fossil fuel depletion. The main objective is to transition towards renewable energy and rethink how we consume, produce and distribute energy. Read on to find out more about energy transition targets and the policies used to achieve them.

While there's nothing new about energy transition as a concept, the term was first coined in 1980 in Germany in the form of a study entitled “Energiewende”, or Energy Transition. Across the world, policies are being put into place in efforts to mitigate the disastrous effects of climate change with countries making changes to reduce greenhouse gases and energy consumption. In 2008, the UK passed the Climate Change Act which is a legally binding framework to ensure the country is carbon neutral by the year 2050.

But the energy transition isn't just an environmental challenge – it's also a geopolitical issue with energy security as a key motivating factor.

In real terms, the energy transition means:

  • Reducing energy consumption by improving energy efficiency and changing our energy usage and habits.
  • Making the move towards renewable energy and sustainable materials in construction.
  • Providing support to improve household energy efficiency.
  • Increasing the role of local authorities with respect to energy efficiency.

Energy transition refers to all the measures required to shift energy production, distribution and consumption towards less environmentally damaging processes. The aim is to reduce and manage energy usage, and gradually move away from non-renewable energy sources (such as petrol, gas and coal) towards low carbon alternatives.

Energy transition must be at the heart of policy-making if we want to respond to the need to protect the environment and fight climate change. At the same time, fossil fuel depletion is quite simply forcing us to turn towards renewable energy sources like biomass, solar power, wind power, geothermal power, hydroelectric power and tidal power. The need to turn away from fossil fuels becomes even more urgent as limited resources lead to price hikes in the domestic and non-domestic sector. On an individual level, the cost of energy is increasing the risk of energy poverty in households. The energy transition is therefore not just an environmental issue but one that affects economic growth and public health.

While the main objective of the energy transition is to lower the environmental impact of energy production by moving towards renewable resources, there are several mid to long-term aims.

The Climate Change Act forms the basis of the UK's approach to tackling climate change. It aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 100% of 1990 levels to achieve net zero by 2050. In 2021, the UK’s net zero strategy report was published setting out the government's objectives:

  • End the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.
  • Power the UK entirely by clean electricity by 2035.
  • Invest in hydrogen production.
  • Ensure 10% of fuel used by airlines is sustainable by 2030.
  • Upgrade home heating systems from gas boilers to heat pumps.
  • Triple the rate of woodland creation in England.

In terms of implementing energy transition, a number of major issues are at play.

  • Environmental: the aims here are to tackle climate change and support biodiversity by reducing emissions of CO2 and other greenhouses gases and pollution (e.g. fine particle air pollution).
  • Public health: to protect the population against the spread of environmental health risks.
  • Security: to secure energy systems and gradually phase out nuclear power.
  • Political: work towards energy independence and reduce inequality in accessing energy.
  • Economic: decentralise and redevelop energy infrastructure. Reduce waste derived from fossil fuel and nuclear energy production and recover materials.

Of the 115 countries benchmarked by the Energy Transition Index (ETI), only thirteen are said to have made steady gains in terms of energy system performance and preparedness over the past decade.

At the forefront of its ranking are Sweden, Switzerland and Finland followed by Denmark, Norway and Austria.

The UK is ranked in seventh place in the top ten countries in the Energy Transition Index (2020).

Guide written by:

Julie, Interior Designer, Manchester, 40 guides

Julie, Interior Designer, Manchester

After years of DIY, renovation and designing, I decided to turn my passion into a career. Starting in 2006, in the South-West, I helped people with renovation or construction projects. My expertise and curiosity led me to look further into innovative ideas for myself and my clients. Indeed, to live your passion is also to transform the space you live in and the objects you use daily. My family love my creations and ideas that I bring into their lives! My favourite thing to do: use colour to brighten up interior space. But also tips to hide away clutter. Your home is just never big enough, is it? It is therefore a great pleasure to share my tips with you, so that you also can take as much pleasure as I do when starting up your next project!  

  • Millions of products

  • Delivery to your home or click & collect

  • Hundreds of dedicated experts online