On the 21st June 2019, Roger Harrabin, BBC Environmental Analyst reported ‘For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, Britain is obtaining more power from zero-carbon sources than fossil fuels.

The milestone has been passed for the first five months of 2019.

National Grid says clean energy has nudged ahead with 48% of generation, against 47% for coal and gas.

The rest is biomass burning. The transformation reflects the precipitous decline of coal energy, and a boom from wind and solar.

National Grid says that in the past decade, coal generation will have plunged from 30% to 3%.

Meanwhile, wind power has shot up from 1% to 19%.

Mini-milestones have been passed along the way. In May, for instance, Britain clocked up its first coal-free fortnight and generated record levels of solar power for two consecutive days.

Why does it matter?

The shift is being driven by the need to cut emissions of the greenhouse gases that are over-heating the climate. The electricity sector was seen as the easiest place to start.

John Pettigrew, CEO of National Grid, told BBC News: “Over the last 10 years there’s been real progress in de-carbonisation of the energy system – but 2019 is going to be a key milestone.

“It’s the first time since the Industrial Revolution that more electricity has been produced from zero and low-carbon sources rather than fossil fuels. It’s tremendously exciting because it’s such a tipping point.”

National Grid says it is confident to make predictions for Britain’s whole year power generation based on figures so far and on historical patterns.

In years to come, more energy storage will be needed as the share of wind and solar energy swells further’

Read the full article here – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-48711649

 

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