Growth in renewable energy in the UK has pushed coal use to levels last seen at the start of the industrial revolution.
For the quarter April to June 2019, coal comprised just 0.6% of Britain’s energy mix, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Renewables, however, grew to 35.5% of the UK’s total power produced for the period, an increase of more than 10% for the quarter year-on-year.
Green energy production overall grew by 9.9%, increasing from 24.6TWh to 27.1TWh in the span of a year.
Coal production fell to a record-low during the second quarter of 2019, with just half a million tonnes produced, a massive 25% lower than the same period in 2018, with the falling demand and the closure of UK mines playing a role in the decline.
The UK has also recorded the lowest-ever prices for offshore wind during the government’s recent Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction.
Whilst gas accounted for approximately 43.6%, and thus the lion’s-share of generation for the period, and nuclear 17.1%, the increase in renewables is a step in the right direction as the UK targets a transition to net-zero emissions by 2050.
The increase in renewable energy production has helped the country operate without coal for a record 3,000 hours in 2019 to-date, five-times higher than 2017 figures.
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK is a world leader in renewables and these figures are another step in the right direction on our path towards reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
“With more offshore wind projects on the way at record low prices, we are set to benefit from even more clean energy in the years to come.”