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Renewable Energy Production Surpasses Fossil Fuels for the First Time

12 Nov 14:00 by Steve Walia

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The UK has hit a new milestone and is now producing more renewable energy than energy from fossil fuels, helping to further its aims to become a low-carbon economy. This will be welcome news to all environmentalists, particularly now that the controversial practice of fracking has ended up back on the table.

Currently, the proportion of energy produced by green means and fossil fuels is pretty much split 50/50. However, the energy produced from renewable sources has suddenly just tipped the balance at 41.9GW against 41 GW generated by polluting fossil fuels.

The statistics were compiled by Imperial College London, and they show that two factors are having a significant impact on the UK's energy mix.

1. Green energy use is rising in Britain, which is home to two of the biggest wind farms in the world - with an even larger third wind farm to open when the East Anglia One development goes live in two years.

2. Fossil fuels are becoming less desirable, with the government working to phase out the use of coal entirely by 2025, leading to a 25% capacity drop in this year alone. Additionally, the last six coal power stations still in operation in the UK now date back to the 1960s, meaning that they are ripe for decommissioning.

The power generation of renewables is impressive, but this only represents electricity generation, and the UK still derives 85% of its heating from gas sources. However, this is changing, and a third of heating is now generated from wind sources at times of peak usage. This looks set to grow further now that the world's biggest wind farm in Cumbria is open.

There is still progress to be made, but the latest achievement is one worth marking.