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Third of UK power in 2014 'came from low-carbon sources'

Third of UK power in 2014 'came from low-carbon sources'

Third of UK power in 2014 'came from low-carbon sources'

Low-carbon energy sources accounted for more of the UK's total power consumption in 2014 than ever before, according to new figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc).

Published on Thursday (February 26th), the data indicates that over a third (35 per cent) of the nation's energy was generated from non-fossil fuel sources - such as hydro, wind, solar and nuclear power - last year.third of uk power comes from low carbon sources

This represents an increase of three per cent on 2013, with wind farms leading the charge through an 11 per cent uptick in output year on year, edie.net reports.

The contribution of coal to the UK's energy supply declined by seven percentage points over the 12-month period, with coal-fired power stations accounting for a little over a third (33.6 per cent) of total power as of the end of 2014 - down from 40.6 per cent in the year previously.

Decc added that the current batch of statistics are provisional, with a more detailed analysis set for publication at the end of the month. As such, the increase in low-carbon energy generation against coal-fired power stations could be even greater.

Overall energy use declines

The Decc figures also showed that the UK's power consumption as a whole fell seven per cent between 2013 and 2014. When the data was adjusted to account for 2014's above-average temperatures, which were the UK's highest since records started, the decline was a still-respectable 3.1 per cent.

Researchers attributed part of this gain to the nation's ongoing shift from fossil fuels to wind power, with the latter both better for the environment and less wasteful in the generation process. Some energy is lost in converting fossil fuels to electricity, whereas wind farms retain all of the power they generate. This alone reduced the UK's energy use by one per cent, Decc stated.

The rest of the decline was driven by the country's collective efforts to improve energy efficiency, suggesting that homes, offices and factories across the UK achieved savings of two per cent on their power consumption in 2013.

£315m handed out for green energy projects

The release of Decc's figures coincides with the department's first contracts for difference auction, which concluded on Thursday with the announcement that the government will allocate £315 million between 27 green energy projects between now and 2019.

This includes two offshore wind farms, expected to deliver more than 1.1 gigawatts of new capacity, as well as 15 onshore wind farms and five solar deployments. The projects will lead to the UK emitting four million fewer tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per year - the equivalent of taking two million cars off the road, Decc states.

Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey commented: "These projects could power 1.4 million homes, create thousands of green jobs and give a massive boost to home-grown energy while reducing our reliance on volatile foreign markets."

 

Posted by William Rodriguez