‘More electricity to come from renewables than fossil fuels in 2019’

Britain to produce more electricity from zero carbon emission energy sources in 2019 than fossil fuels for the first time since the industrial revolution, National Grid claims

  • Britain’s energy system is in the midst of a rapid and complex transformation 
  • Experts from the National Grid analysed a decade’s power generation data
  • Adoption of  wind, solar, nuclear and hydro power has led to the decrease

Britain will produce more electricity from zero carbon energy sources sources than fossil fuels in 2019, experts from the National Grid predict.

If true, this will be the first time since the Industrial Revolution that this has been the case, they say.

The feat will be achieved through greater reliance on cleaner energy sources, it’s claimed – including wind, solar, nuclear and hydro power

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Britain will produce more electricity from zero carbon energy sources sources than fossil fuels in 2019, experts from the National Grid predict. If true, this will be the first time since the Industrial Revolution that this has been the case, they say (stock image)

Experts from the National Grid, based in London, analysed annual power generation data from the last decade to make the finding. 

Britain’s energy system is in the midst of a rapid and complex transformation, with the government recently announcing that it aims to go ‘net zero’ on emissions.

That means that the emissions generated by the UK are offset by removing the same amount of carbon from the atmosphere.

The continued move to a clean power system will require significant upgrades to the transmission network, National Grid says. 

National Grid CEO John Pettigrew said: ‘The incredible progress that Britain has made in the past ten years means we can now say 2019 will be the year zero carbon power beats fossil fuel fired generation for the first time. 

‘Having reached this landmark tipping point, the question is what are we doing today to get to net zero as quickly as possible? 

‘The interconnectors that connect our electricity grid into Norway’s hydro power are part of this story, as is having the know-how to bring renewable generation onstream to complement conventional sources of generating power. 

‘This will help accelerate our progress towards delivering cleaner, greener energy for Britain’s homes, our travel and our work as quickly as possible.’=  

 The feat will be achieved through greater reliance on cleaner energy sources, it’s claimed – including wind, solar, nuclear and hydro power (stock image)

Several significant achievements have helped zero carbon beat fossil fuels so far this year.

That includes the fact that 63 per cent of electricity imported to Britain through under water cables, called interconnectors, has come from zero carbon sources.

Huge strides are also being made in areas such as carbon capture and storage, as well as investment in new interconnector projects. 

As Britain powers towards this new era of clean energy, public concern about climate change is at an all-time high. 

New research commissioned by National Grid found that ‘climate anxiety’ is exacerbated by a perceived lack of urgency around addressing the problem and the impact this will have on future generations. 

Nearly seven out of ten Brits (69 per cent) who are concerned about climate change said it was because they believe it’s not being addressed urgently enough.

Over a third (38 per cent) of young people said their concerns about climate change would drive them to join a protest and nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of 18-24 year olds said they are prepared to skip school or work to do this.

The research also identified a demand for clearer information on what action is being taken to reduce emissions. 

Nearly three in five (56 per cent) Brits worried about climate change stated that more information from government and businesses about what action is being taken would help address their concerns.

Almost half (49 per cent) would like regular reporting on Britain’s progress in tackling climate change. 

WHAT ARE THE UK’S PLANS FOR ‘NET ZERO’ CARBON EMISSIONS?

Plans for the UK to become ‘carbon’ neutral by 2050 were released by Theresa May’s government on June 12, 2019.

However, experts are concerned over how the proposals will work.

The report commits to ensuring that the emissions generated by the UK are offset by removing the same amount of carbon from the atmosphere.

There are two main ways this can be achieved – by planting more trees and by installing ‘carbon capture’ technology at the source of the pollution.

Some critics are worried that this first option will be used by the government to export it’s carbon offsetting to other countries.

International carbon credits let nations continue emitting carbon while paying for trees to be planted elsewhere, balancing out their emissions.

Some argue that the scheme is a way for developed nations to shirk their environmental obligations, by passing them to poor and developing countries.

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