Published on October 15th, 2018 | by Joshua S Hill0
Great Britain Records Lowest Fossil Fuel Share Of Energy Mix
October 15th, 2018 by Joshua S Hill
Great Britain posted its lowest ever share of fossil fuels this past third quarter, according to a new report from UK-based energy analysts EnAppSys, accounting for only 41% of total generation.
EnAppSys published its Electricity Market Summary for the third quarter of 2018 (July to September) earlier this month for Great Britain — as distinct from the United Kingdom, which includes the island of Great Britain plus Northern Ireland. According to EnAppSys, the new record-low comes “as part of a shift in how Great Britain produces electricity in recent years” which has seen massive declines in coal use and increasing levels of renewable energy and decreasing energy demand.
Specifically, fossil fuels have fallen from providing 74% of the total generation in the third quarter of 2010, at a time when renewable energy only provided 5.5 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity or approximately 7% of Great Britain’s total, but which has since risen to 18.2 TWh, or 28%, by the third quarter of 2018.
As proof that policies can impose great change, Great Britain’s fossil fuels have also undergone their own shift, with the near expulsion of coal from the energy mix serving to clean fossil fuels’ contribution, as natural gas rose to become the largest provider of electricity. Importantly, coal’s disappearance from the energy mix — EnAppSys describes coal’s contribution as “nominal” — is almost single-handedly down to the increase of renewable energy technologies, which now consistently provides the second-largest share of electricity.
“With coal out of favour within the GB power market, carbon price rises do not have much impact upon fossil fuel projects except to push the cost of generation up,” explained Paul Verrill, director of EnAppSys. “This makes these schemes less favourable than other projects with low (fixed) fuel costs, such as renewables and nuclear, which will be earning income above levels that would otherwise have been expected. These projects should see a significant boost in the short and medium term.”