Renewables generated more power than fossil fuels in UK for first quarter ever

Renewables generated more power than fossil fuels in UK for first quarter ever
© Getty Images

Electricity generated from wind, solar and hydroelectric plants beat out traditional fossil fuel plants as the top source of power for the United Kingdom during a three-month period for the first time, according to an analysis released Monday. 

Between July, August and September, renewable energy sources generated about 29.5 terawatt hours compared to just 29.1 terawatt hours generated from fossil fuel sources, according to an analysis by U.K.-based climate news site Carbon Brief.

The results showed that the three summer months were the first quarter where renewable power generation outpaced fossil fuel power in the United Kingdom since the country opened its first public electric power station in 1882.

ADVERTISEMENT

Looking at the source of power in the country’s past, the strong shift toward renewables is striking. In 2010, fossil fuels accounted for more than 10 times the amount of electricity than renewables, according to the analysis. Today electricity generation from fossil fuels has halved, according to the report, with electricity derived from coal, oil and gas down from 288 terawatt hours to 142 terawatt hours in the most recent 12-month period.

The report attributed the shift to shrinking demand due to efficient electric grids and the growth of renewable capacity paired with falling energy costs.

The trend is the first sign that the country, which has recently vowed to adopt net zero gas emissions by 2050, is heading in the right direction.