Wind and solar make more electricity than nuclear for first time in UK
Windfarms and solar panels produced more electricity than the UK's eight nuclear power stations for the first time at the end of last year, official figures show.
Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions also continued to fall, dropping 3% in 2017, as coal use fell and the use of renewables climbed.
Energy experienced the biggest drop in emissions of any UK sector, of 8%, while pollution from transport and businesses stayed flat.
Energy industry chiefs said the figures showed that the government should rethink its ban on onshore wind subsidies, a move that ministers have hinted could happen soon.
Lawrence Slade, chief executive of the big six lobby group Energy UK, said: “We need to keep up the pace … by ensuring that the lowest cost renewables are no longer excluded from the market.”
Across the whole year, low-carbon sources of power – wind, solar, biomass and nuclear – provided a record 50.4% of electricity, up from 45.7% in 2016.
But in the fourth quarter of 2017, high wind speeds, new renewables installations and lower nuclear output saw wind and solar becoming the second biggest source of power for the first time.
Wind and solar generated 18.33 terawatt hours (TWh), with nuclear on 16.69TWh, the figures published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show.