Encouraging figures show that the UK is making faster progress towards its net-zero goals than the EU. In fact, greenhouse emissions in Britain have plummeted by almost half since 1990.
In 2022, around 40% of the country's energy was being produced from clean and renewable energy sources, with wind power generating over a quarter of this figure. When compared to European figures, the UK is already enjoying more greener energy, producing lower carbon emissions and attaining cleaner transport networks, with healthier air and more ambitious carbon reduction targets.
In 1990, gas power plants generated 0.1% of UK electricity and coal was dominant, but by 2021 gas plants produced nearly 40%, according to official government figures. Low carbon sources have grown at an even faster pace, with renewables generating 40% of energy in 2021, against 22% in Europe. With only the exception of Sweden, the green share in Britain is now higher than any other European member state.
Between September 2021 and September 2022, Britain's renewable proportion of the energy mix rocketed by 18%, of which 80% came from additional wind capacity. The UK is already a world leader in offshore wind, and it is now producing more wind capacity than all other countries in the world, with the exception of China.
Wind power produced over a quarter of the annual demand for electricity in 2022, mainly due to the world's biggest offshore wind development opening in Yorkshire; Hornsea 2. With 165 turbines, this new development produces enough clean electricity to power Manchester. GHG emissions have also dropped by 35%, according to figures from BEIS, compared to 22% across Europe.
Now, the emphasis is on developing cutting-edge technologies for offshore wind, including floating wind farms, and continuing to unlock the associated benefits for the country.