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Low carbon sources generated over 50% of UK power between July & September 2017

Posted: 31/01/2018

It was recently reported in the Guardian between last July and September 2017, over half of the UK’s electricity was generated from renewable and nuclear power stations. The record high share of 54.4% of power from low carbon sources resulted from a rapid growth in wind power and solar sources, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The combination of low carbon electricity has steady increased over the past years with a share of 50% in 2016 and 45% in 2015. The growth of green energy squeezed out fossil fuels, pushing the share of electricity generation from coal and gas plants to a record low of 42%.

Including windfarms, solar panels, hydro schemes and biomass plants, renewables accounted for 30% of power in the 3rd quarter. The all-time high was 30.7% in the second quarter of 2017. “This latest record is yet another nail in the coffin for the claim that renewables cannot be a sizeable part of the UK’s electricity mix,” said Dr Jonathan Marshall, an analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit.

The three months were not as sunny or windy as the previous year, however this was offset by new solar and windfarm installations. This progress has resulted in a memorable year for green energy and highlights how quickly the UK’s energy mix is changing. Britain went without coal power for a day last April for the first time in more than 130 years.

Wind power capacity has increased, too, though one of the biggest moments for windfarms was a fall in price. During September windfarm developers secured a record low subsidy price to build wind turbines off the coastline in the early 2020s in what experts said marked a breakthrough for the technology. Put together, the National Grid has said that renewables were now a “significant part” of the UK’s energy mix.