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Renewables briefly surpass gas generation in UK


UK’s renewables power generation has surpassed natural gas for the first time ever in the third quarter of 2019, Kallanish Energy learns from new statistics released last week.

The July-September 2019 government data show that renewable sources broke a record generating 28.8 terawatt hour (TWh) of electricity – a 16% increase year-on-year. This was also marginally higher than the country’s dominant generation fuel: gas.

With a share of 39% of the British energy mix, generation from renewables benefitted from higher wind power production and increased renewables capacity. Onshore wind generation was up 24% and offshore up 43% y-o-y.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Joseph Daniels, founder of Project Etopia. “It represents a huge significant moment for the country. This milestone is one that separates the first and second industrial revolutions from the third that is unfolding right now.”

“The renewables era is well underway, and this record-setting figure signals that we are geared up to meet net zero emission targets,” he added.

The UK’s fossil fuel power generation has been declining as the country phases coal out of the energy mix. These fuel types have declined 40.1% in the period – the lowest value in the history of government tracking.

But while coal generation declined 61% to 0.7TWh, gas generation was only down by 1.2% at 29TWh. Natural gas remains the UK’s No. 1 generation fuel, producing electricity in 40 stations nationwide.