The UK is outpacing other EU nations in the race to roll out renewable energy projects and cut reliance on coal, according to the Telegraph.
A research paper has found that the UK and Germany are making the most progress on support for wind and solar power. However, the UK is also scrapping high-carbon coal-fired power in favour of cleaner alternatives, giving us an edge over Germany’s performance where politicians have so far been unable to agree on a plan to limit carbon emissions.
The report, discussed in The Telegraph recently, has been published by a German think tank and a Brussels-based campaign group. The findings will provide positive news for those concerned that Brexit will see the UK turning its back on green credentials and jettisoning EU clean energy and climate change targets.
Under existing plans, the UK will phase out all coal-fired power stations by 2025. The UK has already achieved one of the most dramatic reductions in coal use in the EU, bettered only by Denmark. Coal was involved in 28% of energy generation in 2010, but fell to just 7% in 2017.
As coal power is phased out, the UK is increasingly looking to power generated through solar, wind and biomass, which have grown from 8% of power generation in 2010 to 28% in 2017. Again, only Denmark achieved better progress than the UK.
In contrast to the UK, Germany’s use of solar, wind and biomass power expanded 17%, going from 13% in 2010 to 30% in 2017.
The UK is committed to reach EU renewable energy targets in the electricity, heat and transport sectors. The goal of generating 30% of electricity from renewables by 2020 is almost achieved, but we have reached less than half of the improvements required to reach the targets of 12% for heating and 10% in transport.
The UK Clean Growth Strategy was recently published with details of how a drive for electric vehicles, home energy efficiency and low-carbon heating will help us to reach targets.
Other nations have also been following our lead in scrapping reliance on coal; the UK has vowed to cease generation of electricity through coal entirely by 2025. The Netherlands, Italy and Portugal have said they will also set an end-date for moving away from coal. France has committed to replace the 1% of its energy mix generated through coal with greener alternatives by 2021.
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