Zero carbon energy overtakes intensive fossil fuels
Zero carbon energy sources are set to overtake fossil fuels as the source of Britain’s electricity this year. According to the National Grid, 2019 will mark the tipping point where solar, wind, nuclear and hydropower combine to produce more electricity for Britain than carbon intensive sources.
This year has already seen the longest spell of coal-free energy in the UK, as the dependence on carbon intensive sources decreases in line to meet the goals of a zero carbon energy system by 2050.
As well as the increase in domestic renewable energy production, the National Grid believes that it will be able to achieve the clean energy commitment in part by importing cleaner energy from countries including France, Norway, Denmark and Belgium. This is possible via undersea interconnectors which make overseas renewable sources available to the UK, such as Norway’s vast hydropower capacity.
While 35% of those imports will still come from carbon intensive sources in 2020, National Grid predicts that this will drop to 9% by 2050 at which point over 90% of imported energy will come from zero carbon sources.
John Pettigrew, CEO of National Grid, said: “The incredible progress that Britain has made in the past ten years means we can now say 2019 will be the year net zero power beats fossil fuel fired generation for the first time. Having reached this landmark tipping point, the question is what are we doing today to get to net zero as quickly as possible?”
This trend is also happening overseas. In April of 2019 renewable energy production accounted for more energy in the US than cloak. There were 68.5 megawatts of renewable energy generated compared with 60 million from coal according to the Energy Information Administration.