Fossil Fuels Overtaken by Renewable Electricity for First Time in UK

Christopher Zenios16/10/20193min
Renewable energy sources provided more electricity to the UK than fossil fuels such as coal and gas power stations for the first time ever according to new research.

The record was reached in the third quarter of this year as the percentage of renewable electricity increased to 40%.

This marks the first time that British wind farms, solar panels, and renewable biomass plants have surpassed the high use of fossil fuel since the first use of it in 1882. This step is apart of the UK’s transformation concerning the use of fossil fuels, which is a far cry from the past, where three decades ago three-quarters of energy came from fossil fuels.

Coal plants in Britain are closing down ahead of a 2025 ban. In fact, so many are shutting down that by next spring only four plants will remain open in the UK.

Although coal is shutting down the majority of the share of fossil fuels is made up of gas-fired power which accounts for 38%.

When it comes to renewable energy, windpower takes the lead at producing 20% of the UK renewable energy, followed by biomass plants who made 12%, and solar panels contributing 6%.

Windpower has been able to provide such a high % of energy due to recent projects like the world’s largest offshore wind farm that began generating energy in February. Another project names the Beatrice wind farm opened off the coast of Scotland this summer.

Due to new projects such as these, offshore capacities have almost doubled since last year.

Kwasi Kwarteng, the minister for energy and clean growth commented “yet another milestone on our path towards ending our contribution to climate change altogether by 2050”.


Already, we’ve cut emissions by 40% while growing the economy by two thirds since 1990. Now, with more offshore wind projects on the way at record low prices, we plan to go even further and faster in the years to come.

RenewableUK’s director of strategic communications Luke Clark also commented on the milestone and spoke of the future saying:

The expansion of clean power is set to accelerate in the years ahead, as our offshore wind capacity will more than treble by 2030, generating more than a third of the UK’s electricity.

This type of green energy movement has inspired other groups to follow with UK universities agreeing on an unprecedented deal with wind farms.

Christopher Zenios

Christopher has always been a pioneer, a first adopter when it comes to technological advancements. Over the years, his expertise surrounded the real estate and digital markets and their evolution in today's society. After being the editor to various professional business news portals and blogs, he was selected to become the chief editor for HWC. Contact Christopher at +357-22029786 ext: 6110 or by email at [email protected] for editorial related questions.

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