It’s been a good couple of months for renewable energy in the UK which, having charted its first ever instance of coal-free power generation last week, has notched up a couple of milestones for both solar and wind energy and their contribution to the grid.
First to solar, which reportedly generated more electricity over the week between May 3 and May 9 than coal in the UK.
The May achievement was tweeted by the policy editor for Carbonbrief.org, along with the graphs below showing solar surpassing coal for the week.
— CDP (@CDP) May 15, 2016
The same was true for two days in April, CleanTechnica reports, when coal generated 3 per cent of electricity, while solar generated 4 per cent on one and 6 per cent on the other.
As CleanTechnica notes, this is happening both because of more solar installations around the UK and a falling off of coal, as te economics of the fossil fuel continue to deteriorate.
Wind power generation, meanwhile, managed to surpass coal for the first time ever in April, generating 2,290 gigawatt hours (GWh) compared to coal’s 1,755 GWh, according to National Grid statistics.
— CleanTechnica (@cleantechnica) May 17, 2016
“We’ve reached a historic point where wind energy is outperforming coal,” said RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Maf Smith.
“April was the first month in the UK’s history in which wind provided more of our power than coal. The Government has said that in future our electricity needs to come from nuclear, gas and renewables and the fact that wind has now leapfrogged coal shows that we are delivering on this ambition.”