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This year has been the greenest year for the UK’s electricity generation in history, with renewable energy sources generating more electricity than coal for 90 percent of the days in 2017, according to National Grid figures and estimates by power research group MyGridGB.
Wind farms alone generated more electricity than coal-fired power plants on more than 75 percent of the days this year, MyGridGB data show, as carried by the Guardian.
All renewable sources combined generated more electricity than coal-fired plants on 315 days this year, according to figures up to December 12. Wind power generation beat coal on 263 days, and solar generation was more than coal on 180 days in 2017. Overall, renewable sources generated more than three times the amount of coal-generated electricity in the year to December 12.
This April, the UK experienced its first 24-hour period without the use of any electricity generated from coal for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, the BBC reports. And in June, wind, solar, and nuclear generation outstripped the combined electricity generation from gas and coal.
Following the end of a consultation period, the UK government confirmed in October that it would proceed with action to regulate the closure of unabated coal power generation units in Great Britain by 2025.
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Last week, UK government figures showed that in the third quarter this year the share of low-carbon electricity generation increased from 50.2 percent to a record high of 54.4 percent, thanks to increased generation from renewables. The share of renewables of electricity generation reached 30.0 percent in Q3 2017, a record high for a third quarter, and up 4.6 percentage points compared to the renewables’ share in Q3 2016.
On the other hand, gas and coal accounted for a record low of 42.0 percent of generation in Q3 2017, down by 4.5 percentage points from Q3 2016. The share of coal dropped from 3.6 percent to 2.9 percent, while the share of gas of generation fell from 42.9 percent in Q3 2016 to 39.1 percent in Q3 2017.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.