Renewables edge out gas in generating power for first time

Electricity generated from renewables surpassed power from gas for the first time in the three months from July to September, official figures show.

A record 38.9% of power was generated by wind, solar, hydro and other renewables in the third quarter of 2019, marginally higher than the 38.8% share of electricity coming from gas over the three-month period.

The statistics from the Business and Energy Department also reveal that coal generated just 1% of power over the period.

Low-carbon electricity overall, which includes renewables and nuclear, reached new highs of 57.3% of the mix, despite lower output from nuclear reactors, as a result of strong levels of generation from technology such as wind.

The figures, which show the ongoing switch away from fossil fuels – particularly coal – to cleaner sources of power, came after the Government’s climate advisers urged the Prime Minister to drive ambitious action on tackling emissions.

The Committee on Climate Change wrote to Boris Johnson after his election victory, urging him to make good on a manifesto pledge to deliver 40 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030.

They also said ambitious action is needed to cut emissions in other areas, including from heating homes, transport, industry and agriculture.

In the Queen’s Speech, the Government said it would continue to take steps to meet the “world-leading” target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

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