For First Time, during 2019-Q3 UK Renewables generated more Electricity than Fossil Fuels

According to “Carbon Brief” analysis, in the Q3 2019, UK’s wind farms, solar panels, biomass and hydro plants generated more electricity than the combined power from coal, oil and gas. During July, August and September, renewables sources generated an estimated total of 29.5 terawatt hours (TWh), compared with just 29.1TWh from fossil fuels, the analysis shows.

Breaking down the numbers are showing that, in the third quarter of 2019, some 39% of UK electricity generation was from coal, oil and gas: Of this 38% was from gas and less than 1% from coal and oil combined. Another 40% came from renewables, including 20% wind (winter has stronger winds), 12% from biomass and 6% from solar (Update* : To get to 40%, this leaves the remaining 1-2% coming from other sources, namely non-biodegradable waste and pumped hydro ).

Nuclear contributed most of the remainder, generating 19% of the total. We found out that the report does not mention the rest 4% and we have shown this in our graph calling it “Other”. 

While it is unlikely that renewables will generate more electricity than fossil fuels during the full year of 2019, it is now a question of when – rather than if – this further milestone will be passed.  Nevertheless, a lack of progress in other parts of the economy means the UK remains far off track against its upcoming legally-binding carbon targets, let alone the recently adopted goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, says the analysis.

* Update 20.12.2019:
The Carbo Brief replied to our query that the numbers on the renewables eleectricity generation did not add up to 40%. Here is their reply & our update on the news.

“Thanks for your email. We estimated the split as follows, bearing in mind the numbers were rounded:40% renewables 39% fossil fuels 19% nuclear.
This leaves the remaining 1-2% coming from other sources, namely non-biodegradable waste and pumped hydro.
Regarding the 40% from renewables, the sentence you quoted specified wind, solar and biomass so the remainder is hydro ie 38 + 2 = 40%”

Carbon Brief Reply to Solar Edition Inquiry

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Source:@Carbon Brief

Photo:@Solar-Edition

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