For the first time in 2017, more than half of the electricity generated in the UK came from low-carbon sources, Carbon Brief analysis shows. The milestone means that, between them, nuclear and renewables generated more electricity in 2017 than all fossil fuels combined. Within this total, wind alone generated more than twice as much electricity as coal, supplying more power in every month except January. The UK electricity sector passed a string of other symbolic markers in 2017, from its first coal-free day since 1882 to new records for wind and solar generation. This lead NGO WWF to dub the year the “greenest ever” for electricity – with prime minister Theresa May tweeting her support. Nevertheless, power sector emissions remain far above what will be needed to meet legally-binding UK carbon targets, while progress in decarbonising the rest of the economy is limited.
Carbon Brief 3rd Jan 2017 read more »
Britain generated more electricity from renewable and nuclear energy in 2017 than from gas and coal, marking the first year that low-carbon resources have met most of the UK’s power needs. Renewable energy – comprising wind, solar, hydro and biomass – accounted for just over 29 per cent of electricity generation last year, up from a quarter in 2016, with a further 21 per cent coming from nuclear power, according to Carbon Brief, a website that monitors climate change and energy policy. Coal’s share of the electricity mix fell by a quarter to less than 7 per cent, with gas also down at just under 40 per cent, according to Carbon Brief. The figures represent a landmark in decarbonisation of the UK power sector after rapid growth in wind and solar gene ration. Wind generated twice as much electricity as coal in 2017, while solar exceeded coal on 182 days, or almost half the year, according to analysis of data compiled by Imperial College London. However, Simon Evans, an analyst at Carbon Brief, said there was still a long way to go if the UK was to meet its legally mandated target to cut emissions by 57 per cent from 1990 levels by 2032. Low-carbon energy would need to reach roughly three-quarters of UK power generation for the goal to be achieved, he said, and much more progress would be needed in decarbonising transport and heating. Advocates for nuclear power will point to its one-fifth share of the UK electricity mix as evidence of its importance to decarbonisation – especially in contrast to Germany, which still depends on coal for about 40 per cent of electricity. However, Mr Evans said the “jury was out ” on whether nuclear power could remain competitive against the falling cost of renewables. Jonathan Marshall, an analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, a research group, said the latest data proved the UK could rely on intermittent renewable energy for a large proportion of its electricity without destabilising the power grid.
FT 3rd Jan 2018 read more »
Edie 2nd Jan 2017 read more »
Almost 90% of Scotland’s electricity was produced in the last 12 months by a combination of nuclear power and renewable sources, according to a new report. Electricity generation and supply figures for the area reveal that nuclear and renewables each accounted for nearly 43% of the overall Scottish electricity supply. Tom Greatrex, Nuclear Industry Association chief executive, said nuclear power had been a significant part of Scotland’s low carbon generation mix.
Process Engineering 2nd Jan 2017 read more »