Renewables in the UK produced more electricity than gas this winter, enough to power every UK home, according to analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU).
From 1st October to 28th February renewables, including wind, hydro and solar power systems, generated 46TWh of electricity, versus 45TWh from gas. By comparison, 93TWh of gas would have been required by gas power stations to generate the same amount of electricity, the equivalent amount required to heat 10.2 million homes for the entire winter.
Renewables are reducing the amount of gas required for power generation, displacing more than a third of the UK’s entire annual gas demand for this purpose according to the analysts – a point of particular importance given efforts to reduce both the levels of gas being imported and the accompanying environmental impact.
Jess Ralston, head of energy at ECIU, said:
“We’re seeing the old electricity system give way to the new, with renewables becoming the backbone and displacing more and more gas.
“Battery storage is ramping up faster than expected, boosting the UK’s energy security and leaving us less exposed to international gas markets.
“Lifting the ban on the onshore wind will help. But with the US and the EU going gangbusters for renewables, eyes are on the Government, the Chancellor and the Budget to decide on how the UK stays an attractive market for the investments that will ultimately bring down bills.”
During a meeting held earlier this week with the United States secretary of energy Jennifer Granholm, the UK energy secretary Greg Shapps enforced his commitment to boosting the UK’s energy independence via renewables and nuclear, saying:
“Secretary Granholm and I stand shoulder to shoulder in our unending support for Ukraine, and in ensuring that neither Putin nor any tyrant ever think they can hold the world to ransom through their energy supply.
“The war has shown the UK, the US and countries the world over the need for ever greater energy independence, fueled by moves away from fossil fuels and towards home grown sources like renewables and nuclear. Today I’m pledging to deliver that energy independence – backed by my ambition for lower wholesale electricity prices in the longer term.
“This will also open up opportunities for UK and US companies to work together at the cutting edge of these technologies while also strengthening the historic ties of cooperation between our two countries.”
Ms Granholm echoed the sentiments of Mr Shapps, highlighting the need for greater collaboration between countries, to help ween themselves off fossil fuels, especially imported gas from Russia, saying:
“The United States stands alongside the United Kingdom in support of Ukraine against Russia’s brutal war and its weaponization of energy markets. We are keenly aware that remaining overly reliant on fossil fuels puts our energy security at risk and that the solution lies in diversifying our fuel sources through the deployment of clean energy.”
“I’ve really been inspried by the world class innovators here in the UK who are developing new, clean technology that’s changing the energy game,” she added.