Renewables generate one-third of Britain’s Q1 electricity supply

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Led by wind power, renewable energy sources generated around 33% of Great Britain’s electricity over the first quarter of 2019, while coal power hit a new low.

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Renewable energy sources generated approximately 33 per cent of Great Britain’s electricity over the first quarter of 2019, according to new figures published by energy consultancy EnAppSys, with wind energy accounting for over 60% of renewable generation.

EnAppSys published its first-quarter update for Great Britain last week, outlining the country’s electricity generation figures for the first quarter of 2019.

While gas-fired power plants generated the most electricity for the quarter, at 32.2TWh or nearly 40 per cent of Britain’s total, renewable energy sources continue to creep closer.

According to EnAppSys’ figures, renewables sources generated a total of 27.2TWh for the quarter, or 33.4 per cent, led by wind energy which generated 16.6TWh.

Conversely, levels of fossil fuel generation were lower than they ever have been in a first quarter, generating 35.1TWh, down substantially on past quarters, including the 66.8 TWh generated in the first quarter of 2011 and the 40.3 TWh generated in the first quarter of 2018.

Coal continued to feel the pain of increasing gas and renewable generation, with EnAppSys claiming that coal effectively ceased to be a major fuel source this quarter.

Coal only generated 2.9TWh in the first quarter, down 37.2 per cent from the previous quarter and down a whopping 65 per cent from the first quarter of 2018. Thus, coal only provided 3.5 per cent of Great Britain’s electricity, while nuclear provided 16 per cent and electricity imports accounted for 7.6 per cent.

“The market continues to progress towards an increasingly green future and this evolution will be supported by news that National Grid is seeking to manage the system without any carbon emissions for a number of hours by 2025,” said Paul Verrill, director of EnAppSys.

“Driving this progression is significant growth in levels of renewable generation which, on current trends, could overtake fossil fuels in the not-too-distant future.

“Wind farms were responsible for 60.8 per cent of renewable generation in the quarter and this displaced conventional power stations from the market. Coal has effectively ceased to be a major fuel source in the market and now ranks below gas, nuclear, wind, imports and biomass as a fuel source of significance.”

In addition to providing an impressive amount of power for the quarter, wind farms also produced a new record high for levels of generation in a half-hour period, topping 15.1GW on February 9.

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