The share of coal in the UK’s electricity system has fallen to record lows in recent months, according to government data. The figures show electricity generated by the UK’s most polluting power plants made up an average of 0.7% of the total in the second quarter of this year. The amount of coal used to power the electricity grid fell by almost two-thirds compared with the same months last year. A government spokesperson said coal-generated energy “will soon be a distant memory” as the UK moves towards becoming a net zero emissions economy. The UK electricity market is on track to phase out coal-fired power generation entirely by the government’s target date of 2025. This year three major energy companies have announced plans to close coal-fired power plants in the UK, which would leave only four remaining after the coming winter. Meanwhile, the government’s data shows that renewable energy climbed by 12% from the second quarter of last year, boosted by the startup of the Beatrice windfarm in the Moray Firth in Scotland. The cleaner power system could accelerate carbon savings from the UK’s roads, too, as more drivers opt for electric vehicles. A study by Imperial College London for the energy company Drax found that the UK’s increasingly low-carbon energy system meant electric cars were a greener option even when taking into account the carbon emissions produced by making car batteries.
Guardian 30th Aug 2019 read more »
Business Green 30th Aug 2019 read more »