UK low carbon and nuclear electricity production sees significant rise

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Low carbon power from renewables and nuclear accounted for record highs of more than 54% of British electricity between July and September, official figures showed.

Almost a third (30%) of power was generated by renewables including wind, solar, hydro and biomass in the third quarter of the year, up from 25% for the same period in 2016 and a record high for the three-month period.

As a result of increased renewables, overall low carbon electricity – which also includes nuclear power – climbed to new highs of 54.4% of generation, the data from the Business and Energy Department revealed.

At the same time, power from fossil fuels gas and coal dropped to a record low of 42% of generation, with coal accounting for less than 3% of British electricity generation between July and September.

Dr Jonathan Marshall, energy analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), said the latest records were “yet another nail in the coffin” for claims renewables could not be a sizeable part of the UK’s electricity mix.

“As the technology to integrate more wind and solar improves, these headline figures are set to become more and more frequent.

“At the same time, record low prices for new renewables will bring bills down for British homes and businesses, on top of maintaining the UK’s leading position in the global battle against climate change,” he said.

The UK has confirmed it will phase out polluting coal power by 2025, and the British grid has seen coal drop to historic lows, including, in April, the first full day without the fossil fuel since it was first used to generate power in the 19th century.