The UK is winning the race to clean up the energy system by taking a lead on rolling out renewable energy projects and cutting coal-fired power faster than its EU peers. A fresh report, to be published in Brussels today, shows that the UK is leading the way on support for wind and solar power, alongside Germany. But unlike Germany, the UK is also scrapping high-carbon coal-fired power in favour of cleaner alternatives at a quicker rate than almost anywhere else in the EU while German policy makers dither on plans to limit their own carbon emissions. The findings, published by a German think tank and a Brussels-based campaign group, pours cold water on claims that Brexit may dent the UK’s ‘green’ credentials by removing the EU’s clean energy and climate change targets. The UK has pledged to phase out all coal-fired power by 20 25 and has already revealed one of the biggest reductions in coal use across the EU, behind Denmark. The share of coal in the electricity generation mix fell by 22 percentage points from 28pc in 2010 to just 7pc last year. In its place the UK is increasingly relying on renewable energy projects such as wind and solar farms. The UK increased its share of wind, solar and biomass by 20 percentage points from 8pc in 2010 to 28pc last year, narrowly behind Denmark’s progress.
Telegraph 30th Jan 2018 read more »
Gas power plant operators will scoop millions of pounds in state subsidies in coming days to go on standby next winter, but the owner of the UK’s largest gas fleet has warned the fossil fuel faces an uncertain future as a cornerstone of UK energy. Auctions starting on Tuesday for contracts in the capacity market, the government’s insurance policy for ensuring reliable electricity supplies, are crucial to the survival of gas plants. But nuclear, renewables and energy imported from European markets could change British energy provision within two decades, according to Tom Glover, the UK chair of German energy group RWE. Glover said the outlook for new gas plants – quicker and cheap er to build than atomic sites or offshore windfarms – remained unclear. “It’s uncertain, when you look across 15 years. You’ve got to look at how interconnectors [power cables to other countries], how new nuclear, renewables will develop. It’s very uncertain,” he said.
Guardian 29th Jan 2018 read more »