News | Published June 22 2019

Britain now acquiring more power from green sources than fossil fuels

The National Grid announced yesterday that more electrical energy comes from zero-carbon sources than fossil fuels.

It claims that 48 per cent of electricity is coming from clean sources following a surge in wind and solar power usage.

Forty-seven per cent of electricity now comes from gas and coal with the remaining five per cent accounted for by the burning of biomass.

The National Grid predicts that over the last decade, the use of coal will have declined by 90 per cent, going from providing 30 per cent of all electricity production to a mere three per cent.

Wind power is now estimated to provide 19 per cent of electricity, compared to just one per cent ten years ago.

The electricity sector has clearly embraced its role in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and combatting climate change.

National Grid CEO John Pettigrew said: “Over the last ten years there’s been real progress in de-carbonisation of the energy system- but 2019 is going to be a key milestone.

It’s the first time since the Industrial Revolution that more electricity has been produced from zero and low-carbon sources rather than fossil fuels. It’s such a tipping point”.

The majority of energy imported from Europe this year has also come from carbon free sources, at an estimated 63 per cent. The bulk of this has come from nuclear power stations in France.

Imported power coming from greener sources is only set to increase with the UK seeking to acquire more energy from hydropower generators in Norway.

Pettigrew also told the BBC that, as demand for energy storage increased, renewable energies could be stored in electric car batteries with their charging systems reversed so electricity can be fed back to the grid during peak demand periods.

This is being touted as a solution to what will be increased strain on wind and solar power in future years, with vehicle-to-grid technology predicted to solve between ten and 15 per cent of the UK’s demand for energy storage.

Pettigrew explained: “One key attribute of electric vehicles is that they have a battery and therefore can be used as a source of energy on the network.

“We could aggregate all the cars and use that electricity to support the grid when needed. It will be a really effective tool for us to keep costs down”.

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Authored by

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
June 22 2019

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