UK renewable energy capacity surpasses fossil fuels for first time

The capacity of renewable energy has overtaken that of fossil fuels in the UK for the first time, in a milestone that experts said would have been unthinkable a few years ago.

In the past five years, the amount of renewable capacity has tripled while fossil fuels’ has fallen by one-third, as power stations reached the end of their life or became uneconomic.

The result is that between July and September, the capacity of wind, solar, biomass and hydropower reached 41.9 gigawatts, exceeding the 41.2GW capacity of coal, gas and oil-fired power plants.

Imperial College London, which compiled the figures, said the rate at which renewables had been built in the past few years was greater than the “dash for gas” in the 1990s. Continue reading “UK renewable energy capacity surpasses fossil fuels for first time”

Octopus: Heatwave powers record solar output

Renewables investor’s UK solar arrays generated 155GWh of energy over the past month, enough to power 50,000 homes for a year

As Britain bakes in record temperatures and experts today warn the UK needs to step up long term efforts to cope with the escalating risk of heat waves, it appears the ongoing sunny weather is providing a major boon for at least one sector: the UK solar industry.

Renewables investor Octopus yesterday hailed a record high level of energy generation from its UK portfolio of solar PV projects over the past month thanks to Britain’s continuing heat wave.

During the 30 days to 22 July the company’s solar portfolio generated 155GWh of electricity, which it said was 19 per cent above forecasts.

The solar power generated is enough to power 50,000 average UK homes for a year, Octopus said.

However, the recent weather has not been entirely good news for UK renewable energy. Reports have suggested the UK is suffering something of a ‘wind drought’, leaving July’s output from the country’s fleet of wind turbines down 40 per cent on the same period last year.

Continue reading “Octopus: Heatwave powers record solar output”

Renewables produced enough energy in 2017 to power Britain for the whole of 1958

Solar panels at Kencot solar farm in Lechlade. Credit: PA

The amount of renewable power produced in 2017 could have powered Britain for the whole of 1958, a report shows.

Britain’s output from wind, biomass, solar and hydro grew by more than a quarter to 96 terrawatt hours of power, the latest Electric Insights report, from researchers at Imperial College London in collaboration with Drax shows.

That is more than enough to supply the 91 terrawatt hours used by the 52-million strong population of Britain 60 years ago in 1958, the year that saw the arrival of Blue Peter, the Hula Hoop and Paddington Bear, the report said. Continue reading “Renewables produced enough energy in 2017 to power Britain for the whole of 1958”

Solar and wind over biomass the ‘smart economic choice’ for UK power

Powering the UK on wind and solar is not only possible, but the “smart economic choice” according to a new report which has condemned the future prospects of biomass in the country.

Earlier this week the US-based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released its ‘Money to Burn II’ report, a follow-up to its landmark report from last year, concluding that the UK should look towards onshore wind, solar and natural gas for its electricity.

The report, compiled alongside UK-based economics consultancy Vivid Economics, claims that solar and onshore wind would be the least cost option to decarbonising the country’s power supply and issues a damning indictment of biomass technology and, in particular, coal-to-biomass conversions. Continue reading “Solar and wind over biomass the ‘smart economic choice’ for UK power”

Renewable Energy Smashes U.K. Records, Supplying Over 50% of the Country’s Electricity

According to the National Grid’s Control Room, solar, wind, and nuclear power each supplied more electricity than coal and gas combined at 1 p.m. on Wednesday (June 7) —  the first time such an event has occurred in the U.K. On the record-setting day, wind generated an estimated 9.5 gigawatts, nuclear power giving about 8.2 gigawatts, and solar contributing roughly 7.3 gigawatts. For reference, gas only provided some 7.2 gigawatts and coal did not generate any electricity at that time.

In another record, renewables such as wind, solar, biomass, and hydro also generated about 18.7 gigawatts combined. This was more than 50 percent of the nation’s total electricity demand, capable of powering about 13.5 million homes.

Although the record-breaking figures didn’t last long, it’s a sign of things to come. For one, it showed that renewable energy can sufficiently supply the electricity needs of a country — provided they be given the opportunity. Last Tuesday’s breakthrough was, indeed, because of a such an opportunity.

According to Aurora Research Energy, at the time when the renewables took flight, the U.K. was experiencing (for the first time) negative prices in its “day ahead” electricity market. This meant that wind power was supplying more then 40 percent of the country’s electricity generation. As The Independent reported, that’s a testament to how renewables could reduce electric bills.

Aside from its economic benefits, the environmental consequences would be undeniable. Dependence on renewable energy entirely would mean little to no carbon emissions. For any nation, that’s definitely a huge step forward in reducing planet warming gasses in the ongoing fight to curb climate change.

Article sourced from: Furturism