Renewable Energy in the UK, for the first time, beat fossil fuels for 137 days of 2019! It has been the greenest year for UK energy on record! As great as this was for the UK this is only focused on electricity generation. There are still sectors in the UK that emit greenhouse gases and aren’t as green. Not to take away from the positive news but it’s important to stay focused!
In this post we will be outlining the road leading to the 137 greenest days in the UK and talking a little about how we were able to get there!
How was this possible?
Without keeping up with the energy sector many people may be unaware of the past and present energy mix in the UK. So it may come as surprise to many that the energy mix of the UK is changing. Though not too drastically, the mix of energy generation is very different at the start of this decade than it was at the end of the last decade.
The UK’s energy mix is slowly changing, just slowly enough to facilitate growth in renewable energy. Fossil fuel generation fell to a record low, with renewables just beating fossil fuels in the third quarter of last year. In fact, the UK relied on renewable energy for 38.9% of it’s electricity in the quarter.
To put it simply, renewable energy in the UK have risen while fossil fuels like coal, oil and diesel have declined. The coal industry had notable decline continuing from the trend in previous years. This was mainly due to Cottam coal plant coming to an early end of generation. A further two coal plants are expected to halt generation and close in March of this year. When these plants close there will be only four coal-fired power stations left in the UK!
How successful was 2019 for zero carbon electricity?
Following the dramatic decline in coal-fired powered, 2019 became the cleanest year for electrical energy generation on record in the UK! So, quite successful!
Data from the National Grid has shown that electricity generated from wind farms, solar and nuclear energy, along with imported clean and green energy, accounted for 48.5% of the total electricity in 2019. 43% was generated from fossil fuels; natural gas, coal, oil and diesel. The remaining 8.5% was left for the biomass and waste generation.
To put this all into perspective, roughly a decade ago, fossil fuel generation accounted for more than three quarters of all electricity in the UK. In the same time period coal accounted for around a third of the UK’s electricity generation. This figure has plummeted to 1.9% in 2019.
So, it’s clear to see that we’re on our way to reaching net-zero by 2050. These 137 days have came as a bit of good news between some awful news at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020. Here’s to a greener new year!
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this post, have a great day!