Is the UK winning its battle against climate change?

8th March 2021

A huge milestone was hit last year in the UK regarding the battle against climate change. For the first time EVER, renewable electricity generated more electricity than fossil fuels did in the year 2020. Renewable sources such as wind, solar, biofuel and water contributed to 42% of the UKs generated power whilst gas and coal fuel plants came in behind at 41%. Nuclear power accounted for the missing 13% but has seen a yearly decline of around 9%. 

The gap may be a small one, but this is the first time in history that renewable sources have generated more electricity than fossil fuels across the space of a year which is a giant step in the right direction.  

A large increase in the number of UK based wind farms may have contributed to this as wind power was responsible for generating around 25% of the UK’s power. That is nearly double the output it was producing only 5 years ago.  

The amount of power generated by fossil fuels has been decreasing year-on-year in the UK, however 2020 saw a huge decrease in comparison to other years. In 2019, the UK’s electricity generation was coal-free for around 3,666 hours. Seems like a lot, until you hear that in 2020 this increased by a whopping 1,481 hours to 5,147 hours. The longest streak with coal-based power was around 2 whole months.  

The COVID 19 pandemic obviously had a huge hand in lowering the demand for electricity as lockdowns allowed for cheap, renewable energy to grow its market. It was predicted that renewables would overtake fossil fuels by 2021, but the COVID pandemic helped to accelerate the process.  

At 121 IT Services, we pride ourselves on being an environmentally conscious and eco-friendly company. All the electricity we use at our head office is wind or sun generated; our gas is “green gas” or “carbon neutralised gas”. 

Image: Photo by TJ K. on Unsplash