The National Grid reports that in 2022, the United Kingdom set a new high for the quantity of electricity generated by wind power. The percentage of electricity that comes from fossil fuels like coal and gas was the second lowest after renewable and nuclear power sources provided the most. One of the most important things that the world can do to mitigate the effects of climate change is to switch from using fossil fuels to renewable sources of power. Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are not only much less expensive, but they should also result in lower utility costs over the long term.
Because the effects of global warming are already being felt, particularly in the United Kingdom, which last year recorded the hottest year since records began, scientists, governments, and the United Nations all warn that converting to renewable electricity is essential and this is why: According to the National Grid Power System Operator (ESO), gas remained the single most significant source of electricity in 2017, while electricity from wind turbines continued to expand in importance over the course of the year.
As a whole, 48.5% of the power came from renewable and nuclear sources, while the remaining 40% came from gas and coal power facilities. Wind farms contributed around 20 gigawatts of power to the grid on a single day in November, when they produced more than 70 percent of the nation’s electricity. That is enough energy to warm around 1700 houses for an entire year. This record was shattered once again on the 30th of December, when wind turbines generated a total of 20.918GW.
More than half of the nation’s electrical supply came from so-called zero carbon electricity sources like renewable energy and nuclear power for five months of the year (February, May, October, November, and December). And the usage of coal, which is the most polluting fossil fuel, continued to decrease over time. In 2022, it contributed only 1.5% of the total electricity generated, in contrast to the 43% contribution it made in 2012.
More of Great Britain’s electricity will come from more environmentally friendly sources like wind turbines and solar farms as the country builds up its capacity for renewable energy sources like these. The United Kingdom has a solid track record when it comes to offshore wind. “We’re quite a giant in the offshore wind world, and our sector is very attractive,” Jess Ralston, head of energy at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, told BBC News. “Our industry is highly desirable.”
But she believes that the UK is missing out on some opportunities. Since 2015, an effective restriction on onshore wind has constrained the country’s capacity to develop its reliance on wind power at a quicker rate. She stated that “our antiquated energy grid urgently requires investment” in order to “maximize the possibility that wind and solar offer to continue to cut bills.” In December, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak gave his assent to loosening rules that had essentially blocked the construction of onshore wind turbines.
However, the government has also committed to increasing investment in some fossil fuels. In spite of concerns over the influence on the environment, the government of the United Kingdom gave its blessing to the opening of a brand-new coal mine in 2018. In addition to this, it allowed for the start of a new license round for businesses looking to explore for oil and gas in the North Sea. The war that Russia fought in Ukraine in 2022, which led to the imposition of sanctions against Russia, which has been a vital supplier of gas to Europe, had a substantial impact on both the availability of energy and its price. The United States of America, along with other nations such as Germany, Spain, and Italy, increased their capacity for renewable energy.