The UK saw electricity generation from renewables reach 28.8 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2019’s third quarter, just passing natural gas-generated power, according to figures released Thursday.
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Energy Trends publication shows renewables’ share of electricity generation hit 38.9% between July and September, Kallanish Energy reports.
This record figure was also, for the first time ever, higher, by one-tenth of 1%, than the share for gas (38.8%). Electricity from nuclear power fell to 18.4% compared to 23% for the same period in 2018. Coal accounted for 1.0%.
“We’ve reached a historic tipping point with renewables outperforming gas for the first quarter ever,” Rebecca Williams, head of policy and regulation at RenewableUK, said, in a statement.
Overall, fossil fuels’ share of generation dropped to 40.1% in the third quarter, described as a “record low.” By contrast, low carbon electricity’s share grew to 57.3%, a record high that was boosted by generation from renewables.
Bioenergy generation in the third quarter of 2019 came to 8.9 TWh. Hydro was responsible for 1.4 TWh, a 58% increase compared to a year earlier that was due primarily to what was described as “the wettest August since 2000.”
Wind generation hit 14.1 TWh, with onshore and offshore wind production growing by 24% and 43%, respectively, compared to a year earlier. Solar photovoltaic production was 4.4 TWh, which represents a 2.8% decline.
The end of the third quarter saw renewable electricity capacity reach 46,900 megawatts, a 3,200 MW increase compared to a year ago.
“This is great news all of us who are committed to reaching net zero emissions as fast and as cheaply as possible,” Williams said.
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