According to Sky News, the U.K. broke thirteen renewable energy records in 2017 including producing the largest amount of renewable electricity ever, at 19.2GW in March. Another notable record was in April when the U.K. saw its first 24-hour period for more than 150 years without using any power at all from coal.
Other records included in June, when wind, nuclear and solar energy sources were generating more power than gas and coal combined for the first time. The end of the year, in December, saw the U.K. generate the most wind power in a day at 281.5 GW. Furthermore, more electricity was generated by wind than coal on more than three quarters of days in the year. With solar power, more electricity was generated by solar power compared with coal on more than half of days in 2017.
This adds up to the U.K. standing as the fourth cleanest power system in Europe and seventh in the world. The long-term aim of the British government is to completely phase out unabated coal, or coal that is burnt without accompanying carbon capture, by 2025.
Commenting on the data, which was produced by the National Grid, environmental commentator Gareth Redmond-King, who is head of energy and climate change at the World Wildlife Fund, told City A.M.: “2017 has been an amazing year for renewable electricity in Britain; we have never been cleaner or greener – and we are on course for an even better year in 2018.”
Redmond-King added: “Climate change is wreaking havoc on our nature and wildlife, but we are at last facing up to the challenge, turning our backs on polluting fossil fuels and embracing a new clean future. But we need to show more ambition by bringing forward the ban on the sale of petrol and diesel.”
The U.K. also saw its ‘greenest summer’, with over than half (52 per cent) of energy generated from low carbon sources, Clean Technica adds. However, the U.K. remains behind on its emissions target because it continues to produce a high level of energy generated by natural gas facilities.