Renewables taking over fossil fuels in the UK

Article posted

19th May 2023

Read time

3-5 min read


Mollie Pinnington

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As the UK continues to transition from coal generation to renewable energy sources, the power sector has seen a dramatic shift in recent years. In 2015, renewables accounted for 25% of all electricity generated in the country, with solar and wind proving to be increasingly popular sources of energy. Now in 2023 renewable generation accounts for 40.5% of the electricity mix.

Renewables power more electricity than gas

It has been recently confirmed that wind power in the UK generated more electricity than gas-fired power stations within the first three months of 2023. During these months 32.4 % of electricity was powered by wind whilst 31.7% was accounted for by gas.

The UK has seen a huge shift in its electricity generation mix in recent years, with renewables now accounting for a much higher percentage of the total electricity generated. Alongside this, wind power has been particularly successful; during the first three months of 2023, it provided more electricity than gas-fired power stations. With further investment into clean energy, the UK is set to become an increasingly low-carbon economy.


Coal-fired power plants being turned into clean energy sites

Not only have renewables taken over gas generation, but they have also majorly surpassed coal generation, which now only contributes around 1% of the electricity mix in 2023. This is a marked decrease compared to just a few years ago when coal accounted for 40% of the energy mix in 2015.

The UK's commitment to transitioning from coal to renewable energy sources has been highly successful. By 2023, only one coal-fired power station remained in the country. This is due to the closure of many coal plants across Britain and their conversion into clean energy sites.

As the UK continues to transition from coal generation to renewable energy sources, it has seen success in reducing its carbon emissions and increasing its reliance on clean energy sources. This shift is set to continue over the coming years, with further investment into renewables likely to lead to an even bigger uptake of clean energy in the country.

The latest project into sustainable energy in the Uk has been led by SSE. They are hoping to convert one of the UK's decommissioned coal sites into a battery storage facility. SSE decommissioned the site back in 2016 and is now hoping to use it to further push renewable generation in the UK.


What will this generation change mean for future energy prices?

As more renewables come online, they will be able to replace existing energy sources, such as fossil fuels, which usually come with a higher price tag. This means that in the long run, consumers will benefit from lower electricity bills as renewable energy becomes cheaper and more plentiful.

Additionally, with an increased focus on renewable generation technologies like battery storage, the overall efficiency of the grid system can be increased which could also potentially lead to further savings for consumers in terms of energy costs.

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