UK celebrates first “clean” quarter as renewables pip fossil-fuels in Q3


For the first time in the history of the UK power system, more power was generated over a quarter, using renewable sources like wind, solar hydropower and biomass, than the combined output of gas, coal, and oil-fuelled power stations.

That’s according to the findings of a new analysis from Carbon Brief, which shows that renewables produced an estimated 29.5TWh of electricity during the months of July, August and September, whereas fossil-fuel generation contributed a lesser 29.1TWh over the period.

The analysis notes that nuclear contributed the bulk of the remaining mix, with 19% of the power generated from the source.

The study also notes that clean energy’s portion of the energy mix has quadrupled since 2010 when the fossil-fuelled generation contributed 288TWh of power and less than 10% (26TWh) came from renewable sources.

According to Carbon Brief, despite this milestone, the UK is still notably off-track to achieve its legally-binding carbon targets and even further from “the recently adopted goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050”.

The news comes after recent concerns from Britain’s Renewable Energy Association (REA), which have said that the prorogue of the UK’s parliament which commenced on 8 October, meant that the Agriculture, Trade and Non-Domestic Rating Bills will not be progressed, which it is calling “another blow for the renewable and clean technology industry”.

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The Queen’s speech on 14 October noted the UK government’s commitment to tackling air pollution, plastic waste and climate change in the Queen’s Speech, and a span of new steps to tackle plastic pollution, improve air and water quality. The speech noted UK ministers commitment to the protection and improvement of Britain’s environment for future generations, with principals enshrined in legislation for the first time, underpinned by legally-binding targets.