Green Electricity Replacing Fossil Fuels
Clean sources of energy have overtaken fossil fuels in Britain for the first time since the Industrial Revolution. National Grid recently revealed that the share of zero-carbon energy is now at 48% with coal and gas at 47%.
These figures were calculated according to the country’s total energy usage over the first five months of this year. Wind, solar and nuclear power are primarily responsible, with biomass burning contributing the remaining 5% of the overall share.
Britain’s Energy Usage Approaching a ‘Key Milestone’
Speaking to the BBC News, the CEO of National Grid John Pettigrew said, “Over the last ten years there has been real progress in de-carbonisation of the energy system, but 2019 is going to be a key milestone. It is the first time since the Industrial Revolution that more electricity has been produced from zero and low-carbon sources rather than fossil fuels. It is tremendously exciting because it is such a tipping point.”
Mr Pettigrew also said elsewhere that, “The incredible progress that Britain has made in the past ten years means we can now say 2019 will be the year zero-carbon power beats fossil fuel-fired generation for the first time. We wouldn’t have said it if we weren’t confident that this will be the year.”
The prediction that Britain will break the record in 2019 coming only six months into the year is not surprising. The winter just gone was the greenest on record, and the number of coal-free days this year is highly encouraging. For example, eighteen consecutive coal-free days were achieved recently over the end of May and beginning of June.
Britain’s Electricity Generation in 2019
Energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar contributed the most to the increase of clean energy. Renewables made up 24% of the overall 48% zero-carbon share, with nuclear energy generation contributing 18%. The rest of the zero-carbon share was made up of imported energy.
Coal continues its decline and only contributed 3% to the total of 47% of carbon-producing energy. That stands in stark contrast to the 30% it contributed just a decade ago. Over the same time period, wind power’s overall share rose from 1% to 19%.
Gas is by far the biggest contributor to carbon-producing energy now at 41%, with imported energy contributing just 3%.
National Grid Adapting to Renewable Energy
Approximately £1.3 billion a year is being spent adapting the national electricity grid for renewable energy. National Grid themselves hope that within six years they will be able to manage a completely zero-carbon electricity grid.
Mr Pettigrew believes the target may not be entirely achievable, but appears keen to dream big. He said of the six-year target, “Do I expect that this will be a reality? No. But we won’t be a constraint in a low carbon world. We will be prepared to play our role.”
A word of warning was provided by Greenpeace’s Chief Scientist in the UK, Doug Parr. He spoke about the speed of becoming a net zero emissions economy, saying, “This is no time for ministers to pat themselves on the back and uncork the bubbly.”
Mr Parr added that the “clock is ticking on our chances to avoid climate breakdown”. He also drew attention to public anxiety about the speed of change remaining high.
Caplor Energy are an environmentally friendly renewable energy company offering eco products and solutions, so if you are concerned about rising energy costs then email Caplor Energy or call 01432 860644.