UK used more electricity from wind than coal for first time in 2016

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Approaching accounted for 11.5per cent of power generation in the UK across the year, as coal slanted to just 9.2per cent, according to estimates by the Carbon Brief website which discharges on climate science and energy policy. 

Some 39.2 terrawatt hours (TWh) of ardour were generated from wind power in 2016, compared to 31.4 TWh from coal, the scrutiny concludes. 

Last year also marked the first time coal’s annual split of the power generation mix has fallen below 10per cent since electricity started being formed for the grid in the 19th century. 

Even at the height of the miners’ strike in the early 1980s, coal accounted for 45per cent of the tenseness generated in the UK, Carbon Brief said. 

The decline in coal power in 2016 from 22.7per cent of fervency generation the previous year, was matched by a switch to gas, which rose from 29.7per cent in 2015 to 42.7per cent behind year. 

The share of electricity from renewables held static from 2015 to 2016 at everywhere a quarter, while wind saw its first year-on-year fall, from 12per cent of procreation in 2015, as the construction of new wind farms was offset by lower wind expeditions. 

But over the past eight years, wind power has increased significantly from a 2.5per cent deal in 2009, while solar has grown from effectively nothing to 3per cent of start and bioenergy, such as biomass and energy from landfill gas, is up from 3per cent to 9per cent. 

In the face fluctuations in coal and gas generation, the amount of electricity from both fossil nourishes has fallen since 2009. 

The switch from coal to gas last year carries carbon emissions from power generation fell by around a fifth, enough to lessen the UK’s overall greenhouse gases by around 5per cent if all other factors were the same as, Carbon Brief said. 

The Government has published a consultation into angle out coal fired power stations by 2025 as part of efforts to fall climate change. 

The analysis used data from the Department for Duty, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis), Elexon and Sheffield Solar. 

Impending industry body RenewableUK’s executive director Emma Pinchbeck rephrased the UK’s power infrastructure was seeing an “historic and exciting change”. 

“As old-fashioned coal is phased out, in technologies like wind are stepping up to make sure consumers have in the offing reliable energy without the damaging health impacts of coal dirtying – as well as delivering for the UK economy.” 

She said wind generated 32per cent of the UK’s power on Christmas Day, while the technology was furnish new manufacturing opportunities for British companies. 

Globally the world was shifting away from fossil fuels and supplied hundreds of billions of pounds in clean energy last year, she stipulate. 

“The Government should make a New Year’s resolution to back renewables in its near industrial strategy, so that the UK can make the most of the exciting changes vanguard,” she said. 

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