How green is your mobile? How much of your daily charge comes from renewable energy sources?

In the United Kingdom, mobile phones have become an indispensable part of daily life, with their popularity extending far beyond mere communication devices. 

As of March 2022, there were approximately 83.25 million mobile phone users in the UK, a number that continues to climb steadily. 

With the push towards sustainability gaining momentum, it’s time to think about the green credentials of our mobile charging habits. 

How much of the energy powering our devices comes from renewable energy sources? 

Let’s take a look at how much energy it takes to charge our mobile phones and how much of that energy comes from renewable sources. 

How much energy does it take to charge a mobile phone? 

Almost everyone has a mobile phone, and given how much we use them, it’s worth knowing how much energy they take to charge and what the cost of charging them is. 

The average wattage used per charge is dependent on the type of charger that you use. 

Low wattage chargers use between 5-10 watts and are most suitable for overnight charging. 

Standard wattage chargers, ranging from 10-18 watts, are what most people use. They can charge a phone from dead to full in approximately 1 to 2 hours, depending on the phone model and battery capacity. 

Fast chargers, or high wattage chargers, vary significantly starting from 18 watts, up to 65 watts. They can recharge a phone in around 30 minutes. 

Even with the range between low wattage and high wattage chargers, it is likely to cost on average 2p or less to charge your mobile phone for an hour

But how much of that charge comes from renewable energy sources? 

Renewable energy sources 

In recent years, the UK has made remarkable strides in harnessing renewable energy. 

From wind farms dotting the coastline to solar panels adorning rooftops, the shift towards cleaner alternatives has been palpable. 

At the end of 1991, renewable energy sources comprised a mere 2% of the total electrical generation in the UK. 

However, by 2013, this proportion had surged to 14.6%, marking a significant increase in the contribution of renewables to the country’s energy mix.

According to statistics from 2022, 40% of the UK’s household energy now comes from renewable sources, signalling a huge shift in energy consumption patterns.

But how does this translate into the energy powering our mobile devices? 

While it may seem disconnected, the reality is that the energy grid powering our homes also fuels the charging of our gadgets. 

As such, the greening of the energy grid directly influences the environmental footprint of our daily charges.

Thanks to advancements in technology and government initiatives promoting renewable energy adoption, the proportion of renewable energy in our daily charges is steadily increasing. 

Wind and solar, once considered alternative sources, are now integral components of the energy mix, contributing substantially to our daily energy intake.

So, how green is your mobile? 

The answer lies in the energy sources powering it. 

While it’s challenging to pinpoint the exact percentage of renewable energy in each individual charge, the overarching trend is clear – we’re moving towards a greener future. 

The greenness of our mobile charges is intricately linked to the source of our energy. 

As renewable energy sources continue to gain prominence, the environmental impact of our daily charges diminishes. 40% of the UK’s household energy now comes from renewable sources, so if taken as a indicator of your overall household energy, your phone’s charge is over a third “green”. 

The journey towards sustainability is ongoing, but with concerted efforts and collective action, we can ensure that our mobiles – and our world – are powered by clean, renewable energy sources.

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