United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Wind pushing UK renewables past fossil fuels

Renewables will soon provide the largest share of the UK's electricity generation mix, according to official figures, with the growth in wind -- lately in offshore -- driving the sector to a tipping point.

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To the mid-point of 2019, renewable energy sources in the UK generated 35.66% of the country’s electricity, up from just 6.5% a decade ago.

Some sector analysts believe renewables’ share in the UK mix could surpass that of fossil fuels for the first time this year, as new wind projects, particularly the offshore giants, are added to the grid while coal and gas use plummet.

Wind capacity generated over half of the UK’s renewables total in 2018, according to the official government figures.

The UK is set to pass 10GW in offshore wind capacity imminently, with the target of 30GW by 2030 becoming increasingly attainable with each auction round.

Meanwhile onshore wind projects are more commonly able to operate without subsidy and still be cheaper than their outdated fossil fuel counterparts.

As the government's figures suggest, the UK will soon be reliant on renewable generation.

Coal has all but been phased out, contributing less than 1% of generation in Q2 2019.

Gas will remain the largest single technology in terms of generation for some time longer, but wind coupled with solar, hydro and bioenergy will take up the lion’s share.

Nuclear power in the UK has remained around the 20% mark over the last two decades and is unlikely to change much with the never-ending construction of Hinkley Point C plant only getting costlier.

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