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Nearly Half of UK's Energy Last Year Came from Low-Carbon Sources

29 Jul 11:00 by Steve Walia

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Official sources show that 53% of the UK's generated energy in 2018 came from renewable energy, along with low-carbon nuclear sources.

Renewable energy alone met a third of the country's total power needs as Britain forged ahead with solar, hydro, waste and wind technologies. At the same time, the use of coal energy dropped by 25% to a new low of just 5%.

The government figures were released in its energy bible and show how a series of records have been broken in recent years as renewable energy takes hold in Britain, with consumers increasingly keen to embrace clean low-carbon energy technologies and with old and heavily polluting fossil fuel plants being decommissioned.

National Grid previously confirmed that last year was the country's 'greenest' winter due to lessening input from coal plants and windy weather. This followed an incredibly strong summer for renewables, which was only just beaten to the record held by the previous summer.

Surprisingly, renewable energy statistics can drop in very hot weather, as high-pressure hot weather systems mean less wind to turn wind turbines and solar panels actually produce less power if the temperatures rocket!

By the end of this winter, only five coal-fired power plants will be left operating in the UK. SSE confirmed that it intends to close down its Fiddler's Ferry plant in Cheshire next March; it’s the company's final plant.

The government has also finally shown support for home-grown wind energy by allowing developers the chance to compete for a slice of £557m state subsidy pie. This could see offshore wind energy grow to represent a third of the country's total electricity generation by 2030, helping the country move towards its net-zero carbon emissions target for 2050.