Ten years ago, fossil fuels provided over three-quarters of Britain’s electricity. However, in accordance with the new lookup from Drax Electricity Insights, renewables overtook fossil fuels for the first time in 2020 to become Britain’s largest supply of electricity over the total year. Together, wind, solar, hydro, and biomass provided 104 TWh of electricity or 39% of all electricity consumed.
In previous years, renewable energy has overtaken fossil fuels throughout summertime months, however, 2020 was once the first time that renewables had been the country’s main supply of energy over the direction of a full year.
This used to be made viable because, at some stage in the year, the UK recorded a string of green energy records. A new report for solar energy used to be set in April and we additionally noticed the best possible recorded output for wind all through Storm Bella on Boxing Day.
The trend in the direction of renewables additionally accelerated following a surprising drop in demand as shops, places of work and restaurants closed at some stage in the Covid lockdowns. This brought about gas and coal electricity stations to become down and supposed that carbon emissions additionally fell by means of 16% year-on-year.
Next steps will be more challenging
In 2020, wind and solar energy on my own generated 27% of Britain’s electricity. However, though this number looks impressive, it’s solely around half of the share required via 2025 for the UK to reach its climate targets in accordance with the Climate Change Committee (CCC). The CCC put the share of electricity from wind and solar at 50% by using 2025 and 69% via 2030.
As a result, achieving the CCC’s ambitions will require the introduction of a variety of different technologies, such as bioenergy with carbon seize and storage, hydrogen, and nuclear. So, even though Britain is definitely edging closer to the energy system of the future, a lot extra ought to be executed for Britain to acquire its ambitious climate targets.
Iain Staffell, the lead author of the report from Drax Electricity Insights, said that “the next steps we should take towards a net-zero power system will be greater challenging – driving out the remaining sources of fossil carbon will require us to go past simply having greater wind and solar power.”
“New business models, backed through policy and investment, will be wanted to bring advanced-but-proven technologies into the mainstream. This means that the electricity used in homes, hospitals, offices, and factories ought to even be carbon negative – sourced from a variety of low, zero carbon and terrible emissions technologies.”
What does this mean for consumers?
As the country’s electricity supply strikes similarly closer to renewables, clients will have greater choice than ever earlier than when it comes to energy suppliers and green energy tariffs.
Specialist green energy suppliers such as Octopus Energy and Bulb Energy have already disrupted the market in this regard, and now most of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies provide tariffs that grant 100% green electricity. In fact, nearly all of the country’s best energy suppliers provide green energy contracts.
The genuinely good news for buyers though is that our lookup shows that most of these green tariffs are no extra expensive than regular fixed-price energy contracts. In fact, most of the best energy offers are currently green.
The best way to locate out how a great deal a green energy tariff will cost you is to run an online energy comparison and filter your results so you solely see green energy providers.
However, if you’re thinking about switching to a green energy supplier, it’s essential that you look up their fuel mix earlier than you sign up. This is due to the fact whilst some companies assurance the use of green energy, others truly offset your use. All suppliers have to report how their energy is generated to Ofgem, so you’ll without difficulty be able to compare providers.
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