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Historic UK power milestone as zero-carbon outstrips fossil fuels in 2019

According to figures from the National Grid, 2019 was the cleanest year on record for the UK as, for the first time, the amount of zero-carbon electricity used by the UK’s homes and businesses outstripped that from fossil fuels for a full twelve months.

The historic milestone comes as the country enters the mid-point between 1990 and 2050 – the year in which the UK has committed to achieving at least a 100 percent reduction in emissions based on 1990 levels.

Data released by National Grid shows a combination of wind farms, solar and nuclear energy, alongside energy imported by subsea interconnectors, delivered 48.5 percent of Britain’s electricity in 2019 compared to 43 percent generated by fossil fuels. The remaining 8.5 percent was generated by biomass.

As we enter a new decade, this truly is a historic moment and an opportunity to reflect on how much has been achieved. At National Grid, we know we have a critical role in the acceleration towards a cleaner future and are committed to playing our part in delivering a safe and secure energy system that works for all, said John Pettigrew, CEO, National Grid.

In December, National Grid set out plans to invest almost GBP 10 billion (≈ EUR 11.76 billion) in the UK’s gas and electricity networks over five years, of which almost GBP 1 billion (≈ EUR 1.76 billion) has been earmarked to enable the transition to Net Zero including investments in new equipment and technology to help the electricity system operator (ESO) to operate a Net Zero carbon electricity system by 2025. GBP 85 million (≈ EUR 100 million) has been allocated to support the decarbonisation of heat within the gas transmission network.

Data released by the UK National Grid shows a combination of wind farms, solar and nuclear energy, alongside energy imported by subsea interconnectors, delivered 48.5 percent of Britain’s electricity in 2019 compared to 43 percent generated by fossil fuels. The remaining 8.5 percent was generated by biomass (table courtesy National Grid).

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