Science

Renewables overtake hydrocarbons in UK electricity generation

They are made by burning fossil fuels to create energy.

Renewable sources generated more of Britain's electricity than fossil fuels for the first time last quarter, according to analysis by specialist website Carbon Brief published yeseterday.

Fossil fuels made up four-fifths of the country's electricity fewer than 10 years ago, split between gas and coal, but the latest analysis by Carbon Brief shows that coal-fired power was less than 1% of all electricity generated.

It found that between July to September of this year, the use of renewable energy finally overtook that of their fossil fuel counterparts. Firstly, coal plants across the country are being closed down strategically, getting ahead of the 2025 ban.

The amount generated by renewables has since quadrupled, but gas remains the single biggest source of electricity production, accounting for 38 per cent of the total over the three months, followed by nuclear power (21 per cent) and wind (20 per cent). Two significant projects began recently, that of the world's largest offshore windfarm, the Hornsea One project, and the Beatrice windfarm located off the north-east coast of Scotland over the summer.

"The public wants to see faster action to tackle climate change and meet our net zero emissions target".

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Together these schemes nearly doubled the 2,100MW worth of offshore capacity which began powering homes in 2018.

He said: "Already, we've cut emissions by 40% while growing the economy by two thirds since 1990". Another huge offshore wind farm was completed earlier this year.

Under the Labour party's plans for Green Industrial Revolution the offshore wind industry would grow five-fold in a decade, with the addition of an extra 37 giant offshore windfarms and 70,000 new jobs.

Responding to the analysis, RenewableUK's director of strategic communications Luke Clark said the massive growth of renewable power in the United Kingdom was "great news not just for the environment but also for consumers", with the cost of offshore wind projects falling to an all-time low, making on and offshore wind the cheapest largest scale power sources.

Much of the success is down to a dramatic expansion in wind and solar power across the United Kingdom, alongside a rapid decline of coal power on the grid. This movement called kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy. By 2030, the government expects to have 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind capacity, compared to around 8,500 megawatts today.



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