UK use of fossil fuels for electricity drops to lowest level since 1957

A new analysis by the Carbon Brief reveals the amount of UK electricity generated from fossil fuels fell 22% year-on-year in 2023 to the lowest level since 1957.

The UK’s gas power plants last year generated 31% of the UK’s electricity, or 98 terawatt hours (TWh), while the UK’s last remaining coal plant produced enough electricity to meet just 1% of the UK’s power demand or 4TWh.

Fossil fuels were squeezed out of the electricity system by a surge in renewable energy generation combined with higher electricity imports from France and Norway and a long-term trend of falling demand. This marked a reversal from 2022 when a string of nuclear outages in France helped make the UK a net exporter of electricity for the first time.

Carbon Brief found that gas and coal power plants made up just over a third of the UK’s electricity supplies in 2023, while renewable energy provided the single largest source of power to the grid at a record 42%.

It was the third year this decade that renewable energy sources, including wind, solar, hydro and biomass power, outperformed fossil fuels. Renewables and Britain’s nuclear reactors, which generated 13% of electricity supplies last year, helped low-carbon electricity make up 55% of the UK’s electricity in 2023.

Read the full article at the Guardian here.

Photography by Eduardo Soares on Unsplash