UK breaks renewable energy records

Renewable energy sources generated a record share of the UK's electricity last year, more than half of which came from wind, government figures have revealed.


The data shows that renewables accounted for 36.9% of Britain's electricity in 2019, with wind providing an unprecedented 20%.

Low-carbon generation from renewables and nuclear hit a record share of 54.2%, with nuclear providing 17.4%, while gas accounted for 40.9%, and coal dropped to 2.1%.

The figures also show that, in 2019, greenhouse gas emissions were 45.2% lower than in 1990, and 3.6% lower than in 2018, with the shift to renewables largely responsible.

“Record-breaking figures show just how radically the UK’s energy system is changing, with low-cost renewables at the vanguard,” said RenewableUK deputy chief executive Melanie Onn.

“This will continue as we build a modern energy system, moving away from fossil fuels to reach net zero emissions as fast as possible.”

The annual figures, published in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s quarterly Energy Trends report, show that onshore wind and offshore wind both provided 9.9% of the UK’s power last year.

Wind also generated record annual quantities of power, with onshore and offshore each providing 32 terawatt hours (TWh). 

The total annual amount of electricity generated from all sources was 324 Twh, with a fall in generation by coal and nuclear offset by increases in renewables.

This comes after National Grid revealed that zero-carbon power sources provided more electricity than fossil fuels in the UK for the first time last year.

“Low-cost renewables are central to the Government’s energy strategy and our sector will grow rapidly in the years ahead, as our domestic supply chain expands and we continue to seize multi-billion pound export opportunities around the world,” Onn added.


Image credit: iStock


Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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