Renewable energy sources have generated more electricity than coal and gas in the United Kingdom for the first time.
According to a report from National Grid, power created from wind, solar, wood pellet burning and hydro supplied 50.7% of Great Britain’s energy on Wednesday 7 June, during lunchtime.
Add nuclear power to the mix, and by 2pm low carbon sources were supplying 72.1% of electricity in the UK.
These weather conditions on this day were perfect for renewables being both sunny and windy. Currently, records for wind power are being set across Northern Europe.
The National Grid tweeted: “For the first time ever this lunchtime wind, nuclear and solar were all generating more than both gas and coal combined.”
On the day before (Tuesday 6 June), a tenth of the UK’s power came from offshore wind farms – a first for the energy sector where cost dropped far faster than expected.
In fact, wind turbines generated so much power that prices dropped to a tenth of their normal level.
Emma Pinchbeck, who heads up renewable energy trade body RenewableUK, said: “National Grid is confirming that low-carbon sources are generating 70pc of our electricity – with wind power the star amongst these sources.”
She said the “incoming government should be proud of what the wind sector has achieved in the UK, and work with the industry to ensure that these record-breaking days for wind energy generation become our new norm”.
This is truly a milestone for renewables, and a step towards a low carbon economy.
Storage is of huge importance. For low-carbon sources such as wind, solar and hydroelectricity their efficiency is completely dependent on the weather.
The key is to be able to store excess energy produced – feeding it into the national grid as and when it’s needed.