For the first time since 1882, the UK’s generation of electricity through clean renewables has exceeded fossil fuels.
Carbon Brief reported that the third quarter of 2019 will mark a historic milestone in British energy generation, highlighting the transformation of our electricity system over the last decade.
A decade of progress
In 2010, fossil fuels accounted for over 10 times more electricity generation than renewables. Since then, thanks to the development of sustainable infrastructure along with advances in technology, renewable energy generation has quadrupled. At the same time, demand for electricity has fallen, thanks to advances in efficiency and a focus on energy conservation across the country, helped in part by government ECO grants and incentives such as the Renewable Heat Incentive.
In the third quarter of 2019, around 39% of our electricity generation came from coal, oil or gas, while 40% came from renewables. Around half of this came from wind generation, with the remainder from biomass and solar. Nuclear power filled in the remaining 20% of electricity supply.
Offshore wind generation
New offshore wind farms have been credited with the rise in renewable electricity generation, with the completion of the Hornsea One project off the coast of Yorkshire in October, adding 1,200 MW of power to the national grid. Hornsea One is the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
Encouragingly, new renewable sources of electricity are also expected to provide cheaper power to the nation than fossil fuels, with record-low price government contracts offered for new wind farms.
How you can help
All in all, this is great news. As always, there is plenty more ground to cover to tackle the climate crisis, but this record breaking achievement proves that it can be done. We can all help contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions, and save money at the same time!
By conserving energy with effective insulation and efficient heating systems, we can reduce the electricity demand and further reduce the share of fossil fuels powering the UK’s grid, one home at a time.