The heavy focus on renewable energy over the last few years has certainly paid off, as environmentally-friendly sources have outperformed fossil fuels for the first time in history.
According to the latest analysis from Carbon Brief, renewables generated 29.5 terawatt hours (TWh) during the third quarter of 2019, while fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – produced 29.1 TWh.
This represents the first quarter renewables have produced more energy than fossil fuels since the UK opened an electricity generating station in 1882. It also demonstrates the massive changes that have occurred in the energy sector over the last decade alone, as fossil fuels generated 288 TWh in 2010, ten times more than the 26 TWh from renewable sources.
The report stated: “Since then, electricity generation from renewable sources has more than quadrupled – and demand has fallen – leaving fossil fuels with a shrinking share of the total.”
Indeed, electricity from fossil fuels has halved over the past ten years, falling to 142 TWh over the last 12 months.
Between July and September, 39 per cent of energy was generated by coal, oil and gas, with 38 per cent coming from gas and just one per cent from coal and oil combined.
However, renewables superseded this, with 40 per cent coming from renewable sources – 20 per cent being generated by wind, 12 per cent by biomass, and six per cent by solar. Nuclear energy contributed 19 per cent of the total electricity generated in the UK during this three-month period.
This comes after National Grid recently stated more energy has been generated from green fuels this year, following a boom in the wind and solar industries.
Speaking with the BBC, chief executive officer of the National Grid John Pettigrew said: “Over the last ten years, there’s been a real progress in de-carbonisation of the energy system – but 2019 is going to be a key milestone.”
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