Wind, solar and energy efficiency have replaced the vast majority of power previously provided by the UK’s coal fleet, a new analysis shows. Since the start of the coalition government in 2010, coal’s role in the generation mix has fallen to historic lows, culminating in the country’s first coal-free day since the 19th century earlier this year. But the gap has not been plugged by natural gas, the UK’s now primary source of electricity. Renewables and energy efficiency have together covered nearly 85% of the power the UK no longer gets from its coal plants. Though gas power surged in 2016 as coal’s fall accelerated, and may yet rise still in the coming years, it is actually producing significantly less power than it was at the beginning of the decade. The UK’s electricity mix looks very different today than it did seven years ago, when the Conservatives first entered a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. In 2010 fossil fuels were producing nearly 100TWh more power than they are now, while renewable generation more than tripled by 2016, according to official government stats compiled by Biofuelwatch. Wind – mostly onshore, which the Conservatives now oppose – soared from 10.2TWh in the coalition’s first year to 37.5TWh last year. Solar went from practically nothing at the beginning of the decade to more than 10TWh in 2016. UK power demand also fell by 7% over that period, which is mostly down to energy efficiency — although it’s not exactly the same thing.
Energydesk 7th June 2017 read more »
Windy weather helped to push Britain’s renewable energy output to a record high yesterday. Wind turbines, solar panels, biomass plants and hydro-electric plants together generated an average of 19.3 gigawatts of power between 12.30pm and 1pm, according to Drax, which runs a website monitoring the power mix. The output equated to almost 55 per cent of the UK’s electricity needs. Wind turbines generated 9.5 gigawatts of power during the period while solar generated 7.6 gigawatts. With nuclear power plants also generating 8.2 gigawatts, low-carbon power sources together accounted for more than three quarters of the UK generation mix.
Times 8th June 2017 read more »
A blustery start to summer has helped the renewable energy industry to its highest ever output as wind turbines and solar panels help to meet more than half of the UK’s electricity demand. National Grid’s data at lunchtime on Wednesday showed that solar panels produced around 7.6GW of electricity while wind farms generated 9.5GW of power. In addition, the UK burnt 2GW of renewable biomass, made from waste wood, and produced a modest amount of hydro electricity to help squeeze traditional power plants off the system. The record 19.3GW output of renewable energy was enough to meet more than 50pc of midday power demand which reached 35.4GW.
Telegraph 7th June 2017 read more »