Renewables in the United Kingdom’s electricity generation hit a record high in the second quarter of 2018, while share of coal in the energy mix slumped to an all-time low, with figures showed here.
UK’s Energy Mix Compared to U.S.
For the second quarter in the U.K., the share of renewables hit a record of 31.7 percent, driven by a new record for solar generation. The share of renewables in electricity generation have been rising in recent years, while fossil fuel-powered generation has dropped to a new low of 1.6 percent this quarter.
In comparison, renewable energy in the U.S. accounted for only 11% of the energy generation in 2017. Coal and petroleum also represent an astonishing 14 and 37 percent, respectively. The renewable energy sector in the United States and reliance on fossil fuel is years behind the UK.
Gas accounted for 42 percent for the same time period, while nuclear generation accounted for 21.7 percent of total electricity generation.
Renewable electricity generation increased by 3 percent this year to 24.3 TWh in the second quarter. Renewable energy capacity in the UK was 42.2 GW at the end of June 2018, up by 10 percent compared to last year. More than half of the annual capacity is coming from offshore wind.
Recommendations from an independent advisory group
The National Infrastructure Commission – an independent advisory group gave recommendations in 2015 that the UK government should back renewables and support only one more nuclear power plant after Hinkley Point C before 2025. This advisory group believes that renewable energy is the safest bet for a low-cost energy system for Britain in the long term.
Alignment with the Paris Accord
Britain’s energy mix is in alignment with the Paris Accord. It is the author’s hope that other western countries will follow their lead because it’s necessary for greater action to be taken for the planets warming to remain under the 1.5C increase since pre-industrial times.