UK: clean energy outstrips fossil fuels in 2019


2019 was the cleanest year on record for Britain as, for the first time, the amount of zero-carbon power outstripped that from fossil fuels for a full twelve months.

This historic milestone comes as the country enters the mid-way point between 1990 and 2050 – the year in which the UK has committed to achieving at least a 100% reduction in emissions based on 1990 levels.

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Data released by National Grid shows a combination of wind farms, solar and nuclear energy, alongside energy imported by subsea interconnectors, delivered 48.5% of Britain’s electricity in 2019 compared to 43% generated by fossil fuels.  The remaining 8.5% was generated by biomass.

National Grid CEO John Pettigrew said: “As we enter a new decade, this truly is a historic moment and an opportunity to reflect on how much has been achieved.

“At National Grid, we know we have a critical role in the acceleration towards a cleaner future and are committed to playing our part in delivering a safe and secure energy system that works for all.”

Image credit: National Grid

In December, National Grid set out plans to invest almost £10 billion in the UK’s gas and electricity networks over five years, of which almost £1 billion has been earmarked to enable Britain’s transition to net-zero, including investments in new equipment and technology to help the electricity system operator (ESO) to operate a Net Zero carbon electricity system by 2025. £85 million has been allocated to support the decarbonisation of heat within the gas transmission network.

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