UK Construction Media

Half of UK electricity produced from low carbon energy sources over last quarter

News   •   Nov 15, 2016 14:40 GMT

New report shows that more than half of Britain’s electricity was from green sources in third quarter.

According to a new report from Imperial College London, for the first time ever, over half of UK electricity came from low-carbon sources over the last quarter.

The study, done in collaboration with power station Drax, suggests Britain reached a green turning point, as electricity was completely coal-free for near six days over the last quarter – the first instance Britain burnt no coal to produce its electricity since 1881.

The research found electricity from low-emission sources had peaked at 50.2% between July and September.

According to this quarter’s report, nuclear energy provided the largest share of low-carbon energy over the last three months, generating over a quarter of the UK’s electricity (26 per cent), followed by onshore and off-shore wind (10 per cent), solar (five per cent), biomass (four per cent), low-carbon energy imports from France (four per cent) and hydro (one per cent).

The low-carbon sources included UK nuclear, imported French nuclear, biomass, hydro, wind and solar.

It comes after the Government announced plans that would see Britain’s coal-fired power stations probably close by 2025.

Drax Power’s Chief Executive Andy Koss, said: “This report shows Britain’s energy system is changing dramatically and we are seeing real benefits. Cleaner energy has reached a record high, and carbon emissions from electricity hit a record low. We can also see the crucial role that policy levers like the Carbon Price Floor play. But there is more to do to make Britain truly low carbon. Additional reliable, affordable, clean energy is needed on the system, along with a focus of getting the balance right.

“More intermittent renewables like wind and solar are crucial but they will require more flexible back up, like biomass, to provide homes and business with electricity on demand.”

The report also found that a quarter of Britain’s coal stations have shut down over the last 12 months, with coal utlilisation falling to its lowest level ever in the last quarter alone.

The Government said it wanted to see an “orderly transition” away from unabated coal generation and launched a consultation on achieving it which will close in February.

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