Wind And Solar Beat Nuclear In Power Generation In The UK For The First Time

According to the official figures of the U.K. government, during the end of last year, compared to the eight nuclear power stations that generate electricity in the country, windfarms and solar panels managed to generate more electricity for the first time ever.

Driven by the declining use of coal for power generation and the rising use of renewable energy sources, there was a decrease in the emission of greenhouse gas for in the U.K. in 2017 noting a drop of 3 per cent.

The largest drop in the emission of any sector in the UK was noted by the ener4gy sector which noted a drop of 8 per cent there was very little change in the emission of pollution emitted by both the transport and business sectors.

There was a call of rethink on the part of the government on the ban on onshore wind subsidies by energy industry chiefs on the basis of the figures released. This is one demand that ministers have indicated to be implemented soon.

“We need to keep up the pace … by ensuring that the lowest cost renewables are no longer excluded from the market,” said Lawrence Slade, chief executive of the big six lobby group Energy UK.

A record 50.4 per cent of electricity was provided by low-carbon sources of power – wind, solar, biomass and nuclear throughout the entire 2017. That figure was 45.7 per cent in the year before.

But for the first time., the second biggest source of power turned out to be wind and solar energy sources in the fourth quarter of 2017. That rise was driven by lower output by the nuclear plants, installation of new renewables and high wind speeds.

According to the official figures released by Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, while the power generated from nuclear sources was 16.69 terawatt hours (TWh), the wind and solar generating units put out a total of 18.33 TWh.

The most used source by far of electricity generation in the U.K is gas with 36.12TWh power generated in 2017. Therefore, renewables have a long way to go to catch up with it. there has however been a slight fall in the output of gas based electricity sources.

The government should “stop wasting time and money propping up nuclear power” and that the government should take advantage of the lead that renewables have over conventional as shown by the figures, Greenpeace said.

There are ongoing talks about granting a financial support package form the government to Horizon Nuclear Power – which is required within midsummer. Horizon is a sister concern of the Japanese conglomerate Hitachi.

In comparison, following the Conservative government’s decision to annul subsidies in 2015 to large-scale solar and onshore wind projects, no financial support can be given to them by the government.

However, the energy minister, Claire Perry, recently told House Magazine that “we will have another auction that brings forward wind and solar, we just haven’t yet said when”.

(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)

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