Britain is transitioning away from coal and toward renewable energy, and so far their progress is very impressive. The UK’s gradual switch to solar, wind, and hydropower is a huge success, as they have set 13 new clean energy records in the process.
The British government has a goal of eliminating all coal power stations by 2025 to meet the country’s climate change commitments.
Statistics from the National Grid have revealed that 2017 was the UK’s greenest year in the power sector. According to MyGridGB, more power was generated by renewable energy sources than coal for 90 percent of the year.
The UK had its first completely coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution back in April, and days without coal will become more and more common as the fossil fuel is phased out.
Britain also set a new record for the longest time period without coal power when the country went completely coal-free for 40 hours and 35 minutes in October.
Wind farms in the UK powered the country more than three out of every four days this year, leading to record low carbon emissions. In addition, the cost of offshore wind power dropped below the cost of nuclear energy generation for the first time ever.
Duncan Burt is the Acting Director of Operations at National Grid.
“2017 marked a new era of grid operation,” said Burt. “We now have significant volumes of renewable energy on the system which poses an exciting challenge for us in ensuring the supply and demand is matched second by second.”
Mr. Burt said that National Grid planned for these changes in the generation and transmission of power, and that the company will continue to evolve alongside the energy system.
“We have worked with the industry to ensure we have the right tools and services in place to continue operating the grid safely and reliably,” he said. “I’m sure there will be more records broken in 2018 and we’re ready and excited to play our part.”
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer