The UK has seen its greenest year ever in terms of how the UK’s electricity is generated, according to National Grid figures.
The increase in renewable energy helped break 12 clean energy records in 2017 and in June, for the first time, wind, nuclear and solar power generated more UK power than gas and coal combined.
The UK has halved carbon emissions in the electricity sector since 2012 to provide the fourth cleanest power system in Europe and seventh worldwide. The UK had, in April, observed its first 24-hour period without using any coal power since the Industrial Revolution.
According to findings from power research group MyGridGB, renewable energy sources provided more power than coal for 90 per cent of 2017, figures up to 12 December show.
For more than 75 per cent of days in 2017, UK wind farms produced more electricity than coal and the changing landscape saw the cost of offshore wind power fall below the price of nuclear for the first time.
However, despite the successes, groups have warned the UK now needs to tackle its reliance on gas if it is to meet its emission targets.
However, gas continues to provide much of the requirement of energy, with wind outstripping gas only on two days of the year.
Meanwhile, Scotland will have to continue to build on the success of its renewable energy industry in the new year, according to campaigners and industry groups.
WWF Scotland, Scottish Renewables and Star Renewables hailed achievements in the sector in 2017 as ”world-leading” but added that the momentum needed to be maintained in 2018.
Dr Sam Gardner, acting director of WWF Scotland, said, ”There’s no doubt this year continued to build on the great success we saw during 2016.
”Scotland remains a world leader in renewables innovation, utilising our immense natural resources. With well over half of our electricity needs now being met from renewable sources, the low carbon revolution is well and truly under way.
”We now need to build on the success we’ve seen in renewable electricity to drive forward renewable energy in our heat and transport sectors.
”The Scottish Government’s commitment to deliver 50 per cent of all energy from renewables across heat, transport and electricity was one of the year’s most significant signals of intent.
”The announcement about phasing out new polluting petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032 is an important first step but the commitment to 50 per cent renewable energy needs to be matched by bold, concrete new actions to deliver.”