The UK reached a clean energy milestone last year, by generating more of its energy from zero carbon sources than fossil fuels for the first time since the industrial revolution.
Figures published by National Grid show that wind, solar, nuclear and hydro energy accounted for 57 per cent of power generation, including biomass making at 8.5 per cent, while fossil fuels (mostly gas) made up 43 per cent.
The 2019 milestone was achieved partly through a sharp decline in the use of coal power, combined with the rapid growth of renewables, particularly wind farms. The last decade has saw the introduction of carbon tax paid by fossil fuel plants and subsidy schemes encouraging renewable energy use, accelerating the speed of decarbonisation.
Less than ten years ago, the fossil fuel contribution to the UK electricity market was around 80 per cent. Last summer the country set records when it went for a period of 18 days without burning any coal at all. Only three coal-powered plants will be left by next summer, and they are due to be phased out completely by 2025.
National Grid is spending around £1.3bn a year to adapt the grid to run 100% on renewable power, for periods at least, by 2025.
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