Renewable Electricity Generation Outpaces Fossil Fuels for Record Time Span in UK

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For the first quarter of 2024, electricity generation from wind power sources exceeded the amount of electricity generated by fossil fuel sources in the UK. Further, electricity from fossil fuels reached a record low on April 15.

According to data from Ember, a not-for-profit energy think-tank, electricity generation from wind energy sources reached 25.3 terawatt hours (TWh), or about 39.4% of total electricity generation, in the first three months of 2024. By comparison, electricity from fossil fuel sources reached 23.6 TWh, about 36.2% of total electricity generation, during the same time period, Reuters reported.

 

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In January, electricity generation from wind energy was at 9.07 TWh, followed by 8.24 TWh in February and 7.96 TWh in March. Electricity generation from coal reached 0.48 TWh (January), 0.22 TWh (February) and 0.34 TWh (March), while gas contributed to 9.65 TWh, 6.27 TWh and 5.90 TWh for January, February and March, respectively. Other fossil fuel sources made up 0.25 TWh in January, 0.24 TWh in February and 0.23 TWh in March.

As Reuters reported, wind and solar energy combined to provide 27.1 TWh of electricity generation in the UK during the first quarter of 2024, leading to a record high of 42.2% share of electricity generation from renewable energy sources.

Progress appears to continue into the second quarter, as electricity generation from fossil fuels in the UK reached a record low on April 15, according to a report from Carbon Brief. The report showed that electricity output from fossil fuel sources made up an all-time low of 2.4% for one hour on April 15.

These milestones are moving the needle on a target from the National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO) to run the electrical grid in the UK without fossil fuels, at least for short periods, by 2025, Carbon Brief reported.

“This hasn’t just happened overnight. It’s been a culmination of a significant amount of effort over a number of years,” Craig Dyke, director of system operations at NGESO, told Carbon Brief. “That’s not just us [NGESO] operating in isolation, that’s planning and collaboration with industry, with [energy regulator] Ofgem and with the government… It’s not just about technologies, it’s about hearts and minds and processes and systems and people working together.”

The UK has targeted net-zero by 2050, including through the transition to renewable energy sources.

According to Ember, in 2010, about one-third of the UK’s energy generation came from coal, and by 2022, coal power generation fell to only 2%. As Carbon Brief reported, about one-third of electricity generation in England, Scotland and Wales was from all fossil fuels as of 2023, while renewables made up about 40% of electricity generation.

This article originally appeared on EcoWatch and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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This article originally appeared on EcoWatch and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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