Renewables overtake fossil fuels in the UK for the first time

Renewables overtake fossil fuels in the UK for the first time

For the first time, UK renewables have generated more electricity than fossil fuel power plants in the last three months.

During July, August and September this year, the UK's solar, biomass, wind and hydro facilities generated more electricity than fossil fuels for the first time in the country's grid history, a new analysis from Carbon Brief revealed.

The website reports that renewable energy generated 29.6TWh of clean electricity in the third quarter of the year, compared to 29.1TWh from fossil fuels.

Carbon Brief notes that it is the first time that renewables have produced more electricity than fossil fuels since records began in 1882.

However, renewable energy outperformed fossil fuels on 103 of the 273 individual days between January and September, more than a third of the days in the year so far.

Much of the success is due to a dramatic expansion of wind and solar power across the UK, coupled with a rapid decline in coal power on the grid.

Coal now provides around two per cent of electricity in the UK compared to 40 per cent a few years ago, and gas now provides the vast majority of energy from fossil fuels.

In 2010, coal, gas and oil generated more than 10 times more electricity than renewables. Since then, electricity generation from renewables has more than quadrupled and demand has decreased, reducing the proportion of energy generated by fossil fuels.

Coal's decline has been underscored by the demolition of the cooling towers at the Ferrybridge Power Station in West Yorkshire. The site had produced electricity for 50 years, until the SSE owners closed it in 2016.

The government has promised to end all coal-fired electricity generation in the UK by 2025.

Analysis by National Grid in June suggested that, for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, more British electricity would come from zero-carbon sources, including wind, solar, hydro and nuclear, but not biomass, in 2019 than from fossil fuels. .

That analysis included the combination of energy that arrives through submarine cables known as interconnectors from other countries, such as France.

Responding to the analysis, RenewableUK's director of strategic communications, Luke Clark, said that the massive growth of renewable energy in the UK was "great news not only for the environment but also for consumers", at the cost of offshore wind projects falling to a historic level. Low, making offshore and offshore wind the cheapest larger-scale energy sources.

He added: “The expansion of clean energy will accelerate in the coming years as our offshore wind capacity will triple by 2030, generating more than a third of the UK's electricity. The public wants to see faster action to tackle climate change and meet our net zero emissions goal. "

Carbon Brief added that it is about "when" rather than "if" renewable energy can outpace fossil fuel generation for an entire year.

However, he warned that the continued failure to decarbonize other parts of the UK economy is diverting the country from meeting its goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

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