UK to generate more energy from clean sources than fossil fuels this year
Clean energy sources will provide more electricity than fossil fuels in the UK this year for the first time since before the Industrial Revolution, the National Grid has announced today.
The historic landmark follows a decade of transformation for the power sector, with the share of electricity generated from fossil fuels dropping from 75.6% to 46.6% since 2009.
This year has seen the UK enjoy its first coal-free fortnight and record levels of solar energy generation, while 64.5% of electricity imported through underwater cables has come from zero-carbon sources.
The announcement comes a week after the government committed to a legally binding target that will eradicate the country’s net carbon emissions by 2050.
National Grid CEO, John Pettigrew, said: “As we look to the future, we are proud to champion world-leading feats of British engineering as we move to a net zero power grid.
"The incredible progress that Britain has made in the past ten years means we can now say 2019 will be the year net zero power beats fossil fuel fired generation for the first time."
The National Grid highlighted how it is investing around £1.3bn each year to support the transition to clean energy, and has spent £2bn on new interconnector projects.
Moreover, its fifth underwater electricity cable interconnector – the North Sea Link – is currently under construction, and will plug British homes into Norway’s biggest hydro-dam, providing 100% zero carbon energy.
The National Grid said it would have at least six interconnectors operating in the UK by 2030, through which 90% of electricity imported will be from zero carbon sources.
“The interconnectors that connect our electricity grid into Norway’s hydropower are part of this story, as is having the know-how to bring renewable generation onstream to complement conventional sources of generating power,” Pettigrew said.
“This will help accelerate our progress towards delivering cleaner, greener energy for Britain’s homes, our travel and our work as quickly as possible.”
Image credit: iStock
Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM