The UK has achieved its greenest year ever in terms of how the nation’s electricity is generated, National Grid figures reveal. The rise of renewable energy helped break 13 clean energy records in 2017. In June, for the first time, wind, nuclear and solar power generated more UK power than gas and coal combined. Britain has halved carbon emissions in the electricity sector since 2012 to provide the fourth cleanest power system in Europe and seventh worldwide. In April, the UK had its first 24-hour period without using any coal power since the Industrial Revolution. The government is committed to phasing out unabated coal by 2025 as part of efforts to cut the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions in line with legal obligations. Separate findings from power research group MyGridGB show that renewable energy sources provided more power than coal for 90% of 2017, figures up to 12 December show. British wind farms produced more electricity than coal plants on more than 75% of days this year.Dr Andrew Crossland from MyGridGB and the Durham Energy Institute said: “The government has focused on reducing coal use which now supplies less than 7% of our electricity. “However, if we continue to use gas at the rate that we do, then Britain will miss carbon targets and be dangerously exposed to supply and price risks in the international gas markets.” He added that ” refreshed government support for low carbon alternatives” is now needed to “avoid price and supply shocks for our heat and electricity supplies”.
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British wind farms generated more electricity than coal plants on more than 75% of days this year, figures show. The continuing rise of renewables and the decline of the most polluting fossil fuel also saw solar outperform coal more than half the time, data provided by analysis website MyGridGB to the Press Association shows. Overall, renewables provided more power than coal plants on 315 days in 2017, or more than 90% of the year, figures up to December 12 show, while coal was beaten by wind on 263 days and by solar on 180 days. Coal generation only exceeded solar on 10 days from the beginning of April to the end of August.
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The first full day without coal power since the Industrial Revolution and a dozen other records helped to make this year the greenest yet, campaigners have claimed. Environmentalists now want the government to build on the progress by providing more support for electric vehicles and cutting household emissions. According to WWF, the environmental group, last summer was the cleanest one on record with more than half of all electricity coming from low-carbon sources between June and September.
Times 28th Dec 2017 read more »
This year failed to deliver a white Christmas for most parts of Britain but it was the greenest, according to researchers. Carbon emissions from electric power stations were only 142 grams per kilowatt hour (kWh) on Christmas Day, more than 10 per cent lower than a year earlier, according to researchers at Imperial College London and Drax, the energy company that operates the largest power station in the UK.
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