Fossils fall again
New BEIS energy statistics for 2018 q2 show that fossil fuel generation fell as renewables’ contribution rose, with coal dropping to a new record low.
‘Coal fired power’s share of the grid hit another record low, accounting for just 1.6% of generation over the period, although gas power remained the largest single contributor to UK’s electricity during the second quarter at 42%,’ writes Business Green.
A BEIS Spokesperson told Energy Live News: “We’ve hit another landmark record, with this summer’s intense sunshine generating enough solar power to fuel over a million homes.
“With less dirty coal being used than ever before and plans underway to phase out coal power completely by 2025, our modern Industrial Strategy is supporting thousands of good jobs in new clean growth industries.”
Overall primary energy consumption in the UK also fell by 1.3% to a record low during the period compared to the same time in 2017, driven by warmer weather, the ongoing shift from renewables from fossil fuels and improvements in energy efficiency, Business Green advised.
“Here is yet more news of the hastening within the UK towards low carbon power,” comments Kevin Cox, Managing Director, Energys.
“We know that energy efficiency has a major role to play in this ongoing transformation and stand ready and willing to deliver.”
Labour and energy efficiency
Jeremy Corbyn aimed to reposition Labour as the leader on UK low carbon, with a swathe of promises made at the party’s conference.
Corbyn has called for a new commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by the middle of the century.
Responding, Lawrence Slade, chief executive at trade body Energy UK, said his association supported the Labour leader’s focus on low carbon energy.
“We have also long called for a national energy efficiency programme and the important commitment to provide additional funding to help improve the energy efficiency of our housing stock, recognising that this is ultimately the best way to keep bills down.” he said.
Scotland leads the UK
In more statistical analysis, EDIE writes that The Committee on Climate Change’s annual progress report on carbon reduction north of the border has been published.
It says Scottish net emissions were 41.5 MtCO2e in 2016, the last year for which data is available, below the climate target figure of 44.9 MtCO2e. Total emissions fell by 10% in 2016 alone.
The news could position Scotland as a best practice exemplar. Lord Deben, chairman of the CCC, said the Scottish government has made some progress on tackling issues raised in the committee’s report in 2017.
“However, challenges remain. Greater effort is now required across other areas of Scotland’s economy.
“This includes policies to drive down emissions in sectors where they are either flat or rising, such as transport, agriculture and energy efficiency in buildings.”
Evidently, energy efficiency remains a top priority when it comes to decarbonisation both north and south of the border.