UK renewables produced nearly 30% of electricity last year

uk wind farm
CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Statkraft

It seems like only three years ago that we celebrated when UK renewables hit 19.2% of electricity supply over the course of the year. And that's because it was only three years ago.

Now we hear—with a hat tip to Business Green—that the latest Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics published by the government has renewables hitting a record high of 29.3 per cent of production in 2017, up from just 24.5 the year before. Meanwhile, coal was down (27%) and gas was down (4.6%) and overall energy-related emissions were down too (3.6%, or 12 million tonnes of CO2).

It's not all good news, though. While primary energy consumption was down 0.3% once favorable weather was taken into account, an increase in transport-related consumption meant that final energy consumption (which excludes energy used by energy sector itself) actually rose 0.9%.

Still, overall these statistics are pointing firmly in the right direction—albeit not nearly fast enough to avert climatic meltdown. And the good news is that with the decarbonization of electricity progressing fast, we can expect outsized impacts on electrification of transportation, which has significant backing from policy makers and business alike.

It's time to build on this progress and go further, faster. I look forward to looking back again in three years time and marveling at how far we've come.

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