50% Of UK’s Electricity July—September 2016 Came From Renewables + Nuclear

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Around half of the electricity generated in the UK during the months of July 2016 through September 2016 came from “low carbon electricity” installations, according to recent reports.

By “low carbon electricity,” what I mean is electricity from wind energy, solar energy, biomass, and nuclear energy — as this is the way that the UK government categorizes things. As far as the time period, you’ll note that it relates to the summer months.

To be more exact with the figures, a total of 50% of the UK’s electricity generation in the third quarter was via renewable energy and nuclear projects. This is a year-on-year increase of around 4.7% (up from 45.3% during the third quarter of 2015).

This increase in low carbon electricity was largely the result of new low carbon projects being connected to the UK’s grid, but also to the closure of a couple of large coal-fired power plants.

Of course, Scotland — a renewable energy powerhouse — led the way.

The Guardian provides more detail:

“In Scotland, the share of low carbon power is even greater, and now stands at 77% of electricity generation. A record 29% of Scotland’s electricity was exported, with almost all of it going to England.

“The renewables and nuclear industry said the figures for Scotland were ‘fantastic’ and demonstrated how carbon emissions could be cut while maintaining security of supply.

Scotland’s last coal power station closed in the spring, and coal plants in West Yorkshire and Staffordshire were shuttered. That caused coal power’s share of generation to plummet by more than three quarters, down from 16.7% in Q3 2015 to just 3.6% in the same period this year.

“Environmental measures have made coal power increasingly uneconomic in the UK, and ministers have promised to phase it out entirely by 2025 at the latest.”

In conjunction with the release of the official figures, a spokesperson for the UK’s Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy stated: “We have made a firm commitment to reducing the UK’s carbon emissions, and these statistics show that we are doing exactly that.”

Images via UK Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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