News and insights from our Energy & Waste team
2017 was the UK's "greenest" year for electricity
- AuthorIain Hibbert
National Grid statistics show that, thanks to a boost in renewable power, the UK had its greenest year ever in 2017, breaking thirteen clean energy records.
Overall in 2017, renewable energy sources outstripped coal plant production three-fold, beating the traditional black stuff on 315 days of the year. Breaking this figure down, windfarms led the way by surpassing coal power on 263 days, with solar power coming out on top on 180 days.
In April, the first 24-hour period without generating electricity from coal was realised – something not seen since before the Industrial Revolution back in the 18th century. What’s more, in October, this period was extended to 40 hours and 35 minutes.
And as a further demonstration of the ongoing success of renewable energy, the cost of offshore wind power has fallen below the price of nuclear power.
Gareth Redmond-King, head of energy and climate change from WWF-UK commented: “2017 has been an amazing year for renewable electricity in Britain; we have never been cleaner or greener – and are on course for an even better year in 2018”.
These encouraging observations demonstrate the viability of renewable energy projects, (particularly as the cost of solar projects is continuing to fall) and the potential for renewable energy to become the dominant source of electricity generation in the UK. Solar power is expected to become the cheapest form of electricity generation within the next few years, meaning early investment by developers could secure a place in the market and reap dividends much sooner on both an environmental and a financial level.