Record amount of electricity generated by renewables as coal power slides

Updated: 

The share of electricity generated by renewables climbed to new highs of almost 30% between April and June, while coal power fell to record lows of just 2%, official figures show.

Proportion of UK electricity generated by coal and renewables
(PA Graphic)

Low-carbon electricity - which includes renewables and nuclear - accounted for a record 53.4% of generation in the second quarter of 2017, the statistics from the Department for Business and Energy (Beis) reveal.

Coal continued its slide out of the energy mix, with its share dropping to 2.1% for the three months, down from 5.9% for the same period the year before.

coal
(Anthony Devlin/PA)

In April, Britain experienced its first full day without generating any electricity from coal since the Industrial Revolution.

The rise in renewables' share of power, up from 25.3% in 2016 to 29.8% this year, was down to more wind turbines and increased wind speeds, as well as lower overall electricity generation, according to the report.

Power generated from onshore and offshore wind both rose compared with the previous year, as did energy from biodegradable waste.

Wind farm
(Gareth Fuller/PA)

Gas generated 41.3% of the mix, slightly down on last year, and nuclear accounted for a slightly increased 23.6% in the second quarter of the year.

The latest data comes after National Grid revealed that this summer was the "greenest ever" for British power generation, as the share of low-carbon power in the mix rose to 52% for the period from June 21 to September 22.

Recent weeks have also seen the price of offshore wind tumble, falling by 50% compared with two and a half years ago. And Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed, during a trip to Canada, the Government's ambition to phase out polluting coal power by 2025.