Monday 9 January 2017

UK wind generation overtook coal in 2016

UK wind generation overtook coal in 2016

The UK generated more electricity from wind farms than from coal-fired power plants for the first time ever last year.

According to new analysis by Carbon Brief, coal contributed only 9.2% of power in 2016 compared to 11.5% from wind.

The coal decline saw its output fall to the lowest level since 1935.

It adds CO2 emissions from UK power generation would have also fallen by around 20% last year as coal was largely replaced by gas. The latter was up 45% year on year.

That reduction will be enough to cut overall emissions by 6% for the year if other sectors’ emissions are unchanged.

Last year, coal generation fell to zero for the first time in March since public electricity supply started in 1882, the analysis states.

In May 2016, solar produced more electricity than coal in the UK– the first ever month to pass the milestone.

The news follows the government’s pledge to phase out coal-fired power plants in the country by 2025.

The report states other factors in the record low coal output last year include falling electricity demand, rising imports from continental Europe and changes in the relative price of coal and gas on wholesale energy markets.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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