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UK renewable energy supply soars as coal sinks into decline

More investment in renewables is needed to make up for the closure of coal and nuclear power stations over the next decade.
More investment in renewables is needed to make up for the closure of coal and nuclear power stations over the next decade.

Renewable power rose to record highs last year, supplying well over a quarter of the UK’s electricity, as coal continued to decline, official figures show.

Wind, solar, bioenergy and hydropower accounted for 27.5% of electricity supplies in 2018, up from 23.7% in 2017, the provisional figures from the Business and Energy Department (BEIS) show.

Increased generation from wind, solar and bioenergy as a result of more installation of wind farms, solar panels and technology to burn plant material led to the boost in renewables.

Low carbon generation, which also includes nuclear power, accounted for half of supplies (49.6%), a new record high for clean electricity.

Coal, which the Government has pledged to bring off the system by 2025, fell again in 2018, accounting for just 6% of UK power supplies, down from 7.8% in 2017.

Gas made up 43.9% of the supply mix, down from 44.8% in 2017.

The provisional figures are for major power producers, which excludes organisations that produce electricity for their own use, and some renewable sources.

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