Green Energy Surpasses Fossil Fuels For First Time

The use of renewable energy is growing all the time, with recent figures showing green sources have now surpassed fossil fuels in the UK energy mix for the first time.

According a report conducted by Imperial Consultants, made up of a group of academics from Imperial College London, clean energy sources accounted for 40 per cent of the country’s electricity generation during the first quarter of 2020.

The data, released on behalf of Drax Electric Insights, also showed electricity generation from fossil fuels dropped 25 per cent from the same period last year, representing the largest decline on record.

Dr Iain Staffell from Imperial College London and lead author of the report said 2020 has been a challenging year for the industry, with coronavirus causing falling demand for electricity as businesses and schools closed and the beginning of the year seeing severe weather, which affected green energy sources.

“Having flexibility within the power system at these critical moments is crucial to keeping Britain’s lights on,” he told NS Energy Business.

He stated the electricity system in the country is “under pressure like never before, with both the country’s weather getting more extreme and a global pandemic testing its resolve”.

The report revealed that onshore wind farms ran at 50 per cent capacity and offshore wind farms ran at 60 per cent capacity during February, which was significantly higher than the 34 per cent for gas and 17 per cent for coal power stations.

Chief executive of Energy UK Audrey Gallacher said the recent findings are a “testament to how far our sector has come”.

She encouraged greater use of renewable energy following lockdown, saying: “It is crucial that we base our economic recovery around the net-zero target.” 

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