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Low-carbon energy sources generated more than half of all UK electricity in 2017

View profile for Miles Dearden
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New research has revealed that low-carbon and renewable energy sources accounted for more than half of all electricity generated in the UK last year.

According to data published by Carbon Brief last week, a combination of renewables and nuclear power accounted for just over 50 per cent of all power generation over the course of the year.

In comparison, gas and coal provided just 46.7 per cent of power, the figures reveal.

Commentators have been keen to point out that, in real terms, this makes 2017 the first year that low-carbon sources have outstripped the two major fossil fuels in terms of UK power generation.

In total, renewable energy sources alone made up 29.1 per cent of the UK’s total energy mix, with wind power generation up as much as 31 per cent year-on-year.

Interestingly, coal-driven power generation fell substantially during the same period, accounting for only 6.9 per cent of power last year.

The media has largely hailed Carbon Brief’s report as another win for renewable energy, but Simon Evans, Analyst at the group, has stressed that the UK still has a long way to go if it hopes to achieve full decarbonisation of the economy.

“80 per cent of UK emissions reduction in the past five years has come from burning less coal,” he said.

“That puts into perspective how little progress has been made in other parts of the economy.