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UK hugely successful in reducing high-carbon coal use, report reveals

View profile for Miles Dearden
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A new report published in Brussels in recent days has revealed that Britain’s energy industry has succeeded in significantly reducing the nation’s use of high-carbon coal power in recent years.

According to the report, the share of coal in the UK’s electricity mix fell from 28 per cent to just seven per cent between the years 2010 and 2017.

The 22 per cent fall is one of the largest reductions in coal use across the European Union (EU), the report reveals, indicating that Britain is eliminating high-carbon coal power in favour of greener energy sources at a pace almost as fast as Denmark – a nation widely regarded as one of the greenest in Europe.

The report, which was published by a prominent German think tank and featured in The Telegraph in recent days, also suggests that the UK is “taking a lead on rolling out [new] renewable energy projects.”

It reveals that Britain and Germany are leading the way in terms of clean energy, with the UK increasing its share of solar, wind and biomass by an impressive 20 per cent between 2010 and 2017.

Comparing this performance with that of Germany, the report said: “Even Germany didn’t manage the same growth as the UK – it only expanded by 17 percentage points from 13 per cent in 2010 to 30 per cent in 2017. Although its penetration is still slightly higher at 30 per cent versus the UK’s 28 per cent.”

The report identifies that the UK is edging ever-closer to its 2020 EU target to generate 30 per cent of all energy from renewable sources.

However, conversely, it indicates that Britain is lagging behind its target for renewables to make up 12 per cent of heat and ten per cent of transport.  

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