UK’s National Grid claims 2019 is the cleanest on record

Operator of transmission grid says the amount of zero carbon power outstripped that from fossil fuels for a full twelve months

Festival Net Zero 2021

According to the National Grid zero-carbon energy became Britain’s largest electricity source in 2019, delivering nearly half the country’s power.

It says that thanks to a rise in renewable and low-carbon energy 2019 was the cleanest year on record for energy in Britain.

The Grid’s latest data shows a combination of wind farms, solar and nuclear energy, alongside energy imported by subsea interconnector cables, delivered 48.5% of Britain’s electricity in 2019 compared to 43% generated by fossil fuels.  The remaining 8.5% was generated by biomass.

This milestone comes as the UK enters the mid-point between 1990 and 2050, the year in which the UK has committed to achieve at least a 100% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions based on 1990 levels, and to become a net zero carbon economy.

National Grid Chief Executive, John Pettigrew, said: “As we enter a new decade, this truly is a historic moment and an opportunity to reflect on how much has been achieved. At National Grid, we know we have a critical role in the acceleration towards a cleaner future and are committed to playing our part in delivering a safe and secure energy system that works for all.”

In December, National Grid set out plans to invest almost £10bn in the UK’s gas and electricity networks over five years, of which almost £1bn has been ear-marked to enable the transition to Net Zero including investments in new equipment and technology to help the electricity system operator (ESO) to operate a Net Zero carbon electricity system by 2025. £85m has been allocated to support the decarbonisation of heat within the gas transmission network.

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