Boom year for UK renewable energy

UK Government figures released this week have shown renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, to have overtaken nuclear as producers if UK electricity.

According to The Independent, the figures published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy showed a leap for energy generated from renewables to around 29, up by about a fifth, with wind in particular having had a record breaking year due to increased capacity and higher wind speeds. Wind generation in Scotland in particular has boomed, with the around 68 percent of gross electricity consumption having come from renewable sources in 2017.

In welcome news to environmentalists and climate campaigners, the data shows output from renewables is now nearly 10 times higher than coal. In a UK first, energy generation from renewables has also now overtaken production from nuclear sources.

With electricity from nuclear amounting to around 21 percent, the total energy generated from low carbon sources – nuclear and renewables combined – accounted for half of all UK energy production. Only natural gas produced more electricity than clean power last year.

The figures also show a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 3 percent, making it the fifth yearly decline in a row, as the plunging price of renewables allows low carbon energy to replace coal and gas.

Campaigners and experts are now calling on the government to end its ban on wind power subsidies for new onshore wind farms.