Renewables overtake hydrocarbons in United Kingdom electricity generation

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 15, 2019

It is the first time renewables have produced more electricity than fossil fuels since records began in 1882, Carbon Brief points out.

As recently as 2010, fossil fuels were still producing three-quarters of the U.K.'s electricity. The latest figures show that the United Kingdom is on its way to meeting climate change goals, with renewable energy use overtaking fossil fuels representing a significant step in the right direction.

And in the first three quarters of 2019, renewables outpaced fossil fuels on 103 of the 273 individual days, more than one-third of the days in the year so far.

That's according to a new analysis from Carbon Brief, which shows that during July, August and September, renewables generated an estimated total of 29.5TWh of power, compared with just 29.1TWh from fossil fuels - this is the first time this has ever happened in the history of the UK's power system.

This represents a significant change in the status quo, given that back in 2010, the difference in energy generation was much more heavily swayed in favor of fossil fuels, with them generating nearly 10 times the amount of energy of that created by renewables. But renewable generation has quadrupled since then and continues to grow.

The UK has been able to make the switch to a preference for renewable energy through the implementation number of schemes.

Out of the 29.5TWh from renewable sources of energy, 14.6TWh came from wind, 8.8TWh from biomass, 4.7TWh from solar and 1.4TWh came from hydropower.

Wind power is the UK's strongest source of renewable energy and made up 20% of the UK's electricity following a series of major windfarm openings in recent years.

Most cars, trains and planes use non-renewable energy. Another huge offshore wind farm was completed earlier this year. These two projects generated so much power that they nearly doubled the total power generation capacity of offshore wind power generation. At the same time, all remaining coal plants will be shut down by 2025-and even as some fossil production shifts to natural gas, renewables are expected to soon be cheaper than gas.

"The expansion of clean power is set to accelerate in the years ahead, as our offshore wind capacity will more than treble by 2030, generating more than a third of the UK's electricity".

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