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Clean Energy Overtakes Fossil Fuel In UK For First Time Since Industrial Revolution

Clean Energy Overtakes Fossil Fuel In UK For First Time Since Industrial Revolution

Good news, but there's still work to be done...

Tom Wood

Tom Wood

Britain is now getting more energy from clean sources than fossil fuels for the first time since the Industrial Revolution.

The news regarding climate change and the environment can often be a bit doom and gloom, but here's some proof that if we keep pulling in the correct direction then all might not be lost.

Sure, there's a lot of hard work to be done, but this is definitely a good start.

Basically, Britain is now getting most of the electricity that powers us all from zero-carbon sources rather than traditional fossil fuel energy sources like coal and natural gas.


The National Grid has said that clean energy overtook fossil fuels over the first five months of this year. In that time, 48 percent of our power came from clean sources, with 47 per cent coming from coal and gas.

The remaining 5 percent comes from burning biomass fuel.

This dramatic turnaround - whilst it only takes us some of the way - shows us that we can actually look forward to being much less reliant on coal and gas than we have been in the past.

It also shows us the amount that our use of solar and wind power has gone up.

Obviously, that entire 48 percent didn't come entirely from wind and solar. Renewable energy accounts for 24 percent of that total. Nuclear is 18 percent, whereas six percent is imported energy.


Meanwhile, the National Grid says that coal power generation has dropped from 30 percent down to just three percent in the last decade.

In that same time period, wind power has gone from one single percent to 19.

John Pettigrew, the CEO of the National Grid, told BBC News: "Over the last 10 years there's been real progress in de-carbonisation of the energy system - but 2019 is going to be a key milestone.

"It's the first time since the Industrial Revolution that more electricity has been produced from zero and low-carbon sources rather than fossil fuels. It's tremendously exciting because it's such a tipping point."


With the growth in wind power going from strength the strength, plans must be made to store energy for times when the wind isn't blowing but demand for power is high.

Amongst those ideas is vehicle-to-grid technology (V2G) that stores surplus energy in electric cars before that is fed back into the grid whilst the cars are plugged in.


Outside of that, there are plans to import more energy from Europe. An estimated 63 percent of the imported energy from Europe is from zero-carbon sources.

Sure, there's a long road ahead, but if we keep going the way we're going, we can turn the climate crisis around.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, UK News, Inspirational, Interesting