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The Slow Demise of Fossil Fuels: Britain Hits a Clean Energy Milestone in 2019

Updated: Jan 19, 2020

Innovation and Sustainability: Writer Ellie Chivers Celebrates The Rise Of Renewable Energy.

Photo by Vitaly Vlasov

For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, clean energy sources have managed to scrape their way to the top – and are now being used more often than their unsustainable counterparts. 

This cause for celebration was announced by the National Grid in late June, with zero-carbon sources being accountable for 48% of the electricity we generate here Britain, compared to fossil fuels creating 47% and biomass burning, 5%

This news is perhaps unsurprising when looking at electricity generation trends over the past decade. For example, coal generation has depleted from 30% to a mere 3%, while wind power generation has escalated from 1% to 19%.

We have also witnessed the first coal-free fortnight this year, and recorded new highs in solar power generation for two straight days. 

Yet, as the increase in demand for solar and wind energy increases, so will the need for storage of the energy, such as in the batteries of electric cars. The cars’ charging systems will be flipped so that when demand strikes, the National Grid can receive energy back from the cars.

There are also ways of trading electricity with our European neighbours, with the zero-carbon share set to increase to 90% by the 2030s through the UK’s exchange of electricity with Norway’s impressive hydropower network. 

That being said, there is set to be a rise in demand from motorists for nuclear energy, and those at the National Grid have warned the government that the technology behind the electric cars is still a work in progress and cannot be relied upon. 

The government have been notoriously shy in confronting the issues surrounding climate change, yet the new findings show a tipping point in the right direction for the use of clean energy sources. We can only hope this increases all the more in an effort to save our planet. 


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