Renewable energy in the U.K. generated triple the amount of power from coal in 2017, study reveals

Based on the study of data concerning energy figures, in 2017 wind farms in the U.K. produced more energy compared to coal plants for more than 75 percent of days in the last year.

According to the website MyGridGB, solar energy also surpassed coal “more than half the time.” In general, figures up to December 12 showed that renewable energy generated more power than coal plants on 315 days in 2017. Meanwhile, wind energy outperformed coal on 263 days, and solar energy beat the fuel 180 days.

Coal generation exceeded solar on only 10 days inclusively between April and August. Overall, renewable energy produced more than thrice the amount of electricity coal generated last year up to December 12.

BM Reports and Sheffield University provided the data for the analysis, and the figures shed light on noteworthy “green records” that were set in the power sector last year. These include “the first full day without any coal power in the system, record solar generation, and tumbling prices for new offshore wind farms.”

The British government has devoted itself to gradually replacing coal power that is not technologically advanced enough to “capture and permanently store its carbon emissions by 2025” in an attempt to reach greenhouse gas targets. The government can now concentrate on gas. Daily output from wind power only outperformed gas on two days in 2017. Overall, renewables – such as wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower – beat gas on only 23 days.

Dr. Andrew Crossland from MyGridGB and the Durham Energy Institute says that the government initially concentrated on minimizing coal use. Because of their efforts, the fossil fuel only currently provides less than seven percent of their electricity.

But he warned that the ongoing use of gas at the current rate of use will make the U.K. “miss carbon targets.” It will also make Britain vulnerable to “supply and price risks in the international gas markets.” Crossland added that “refreshed government support for low-carbon alternatives is now needed to avoid price and supply shocks for our heat and electricity supplies.”

Emma Pinchbeck, executive director at industry body RenewableUK, commented that the resolution to curb coal use was due to the local renewables industry “coming into its own.” She concluded, “We want to see more boldness from the Conservative government. In 2018, the government should move to allow onshore wind, now the cheapest form of power for consumers, to be developed in parts of the U.K. where it is wanted, and agree an ambitious sector deal with the offshore wind industry… The new year could be the first in a golden age for U.K. renewables.” (Related: The Rise of Emerging Renewable Energy Companies.)

Benefits of wind energy

If you have the means to invest in wind energy, you can eventually enjoy the benefits of this renewable energy source such as:

  • It’s a clean power source – Wind energy doesn’t pollute the air or require destructive chemicals, unlike coal or oil. It can eventually help us minimize our reliance on fossil fuels sourced from outside nations, which will boost the national economy.
  • It’s a renewable source – You don’t have to pay for wind and it won’t run out unlike other kinds of fuel. These days it’s cheaper to deliver wind energy, making it a popular choice when it comes to renewable energy.
  • It’s cost effective – Wind turbines can provide energy to more than one home and you don’t even need to own one to enjoy the profits. You can purchase your power from a service organization offering wind energy for a specific area.
  • It offers extra savings for landowners – If you own land, you can rent a plot to wind homesteads and make extra money. Other options include letting government organizations install wind turbines on your land, for a price. Producing extra wind power can also net you some extra cash.

Read more articles on the benefits of green energy at


Sources include:

comments powered by Disqus