UK smashes clean energy records with green 2017

The past year has been the UK’s greenest on record, in terms of how much of the country’s power comes from clean sources. That’s according to the latest statistics from […]

By Jonny Bairstow

The past year has been the UK’s greenest on record, in terms of how much of the country’s power comes from clean sources.

That’s according to the latest statistics from National Grid, which shows renewable technologies and low carbon innovations have helped break a number of energy records.

For the first time, June saw wind, nuclear and solar power generate more power than gas and coal combined and in April, the UK had its first 24-hour period without using any coal power since the Industrial Revolution.

Britain’s power system is now the fourth cleanest in Europe and seventh cleanest worldwide, after halving carbon emissions in the sector since 2012.

Wind farms produced more electricity than coal plants on more than three-quarters of days through the year, which saw the cost of offshore wind fall below the price of nuclear for the first time.

However, wind outstripped the output of gas on only two days of the year and overall, renewables beat fossil fuels for only 23 days in total.

Duncan Burt, Director of the System Operator at National Grid, said: “It’s been an exciting year managing the many ‘network firsts’.

“We now have significant volumes of renewable energy on the system which poses an exciting challenge for us in ensuring the supply and demand is matched second by second.”