UK Closing In on Clean Power Goal

The Lambrigg Wind Farm near Kendal, England.

The Lambrigg Wind Farm near Kendal, England. Steve Oliver via Flickr

Wind and solar are continuing to push fossil fuels off the U.K. power grid. So far this year wind is the nation’s leading source of electricity, and for brief periods, the island of Great Britain has scarcely needed coal or natural gas.

For one hour on April 15, fossil fuels supplied just 2.4 percent of electricity to England, Scotland, and Wales, an all-time low, according to an analysis from CarbonBrief.


Since the start of the year, there have been 75 half-hour stretches when fossil fuels met less than 5 percent of demand. The grid operator for Great Britain said it is close to reaching its goal of supplying zero-carbon power for short periods by 2025, a milestone on its way to a completely carbon-free grid by 2035.

Through March, wind was the leading source of power in the U.K., according to the energy think tank Ember. Overall, wind and solar supplied 42 percent of the nation’s electricity, while fossil fuels supplied 36 percent. Going into summer, however, renewable output is likely to drop owing to a lull in wind speed, Reuters reports.


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