In 2015 renewable energy provided 25% of the UK’s electricity, up from 20% the previous year, with gas displacing coal as the top contributor.
Once considered the lifeblood of this country, for the first time coal is now marginally behind gas as the dominant source of electric energy in the UK, with renewable energy sources filling the gap it leaves behind, according to official government statistics recently released.
This is a direct result of governmental changes that subsidise renewable energy sources under climate change initiatives and tax all energies that are not considered ‘clean’ such as coal, which produces large amounts of CO2 as a by-product of its energy production.
Maf Smith, deputy chief executive of RenewableUK, says: “The Government took the right decision when it announced the phasing out of coal. Now we can see renewable energy filling the gap, replacing old technology with new.”
Now just 22% of the UK’s electricity power is sourced from coal, and with only one coal mine left in the UK.
Despite the boost for alternative energy sources, nuclear energy has recently suffered a setback, with ministers calling for a review on plans to build the new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point, partly funded by French energy company EDF.
After receiving backing from EDF’s board, who voted in favour of the plant 10 votes to seven, the UK Government have decided to delay the project until September in order to review the plans in depth.
A large expansion of solar panels across the UK contributed to a 23pc increase in the capability of renewable energy sources. This shows the potential for renewables in the future with Mr Smith adding: “A quarter of Britain’s power is now coming from wind, wave and tidal power and other renewable energy sources.” Renewables are now part of our energy mainstream, helping us modernise the way we keep the lights on by building new infrastructure for the generations to come.”
Finally Mr Smith made the claim that “renewables are now part of our energy mainstream, helping us modernise the way we keep the lights on by building new infrastructure for the generations to come.”