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UK Renewables Capacity Exceeds Fossils for First Time Ever

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Renewable electricity capacity in Britain has overtaken natural gas and coal for the first time ever, according to a report issued earlier this week.

With the country pushing to increase its renewable generation and phase out coal by 2025, “available capacity of renewable electricity generation such as wind, solar, and biomass hit 42 gigawatts (GW) in Britain this year,” Reuters reports, citing an Imperial College London study on behalf of the Drax [1] coal and biomass generator. “This eclipsed the 40.6 GW available from fossil fuel generators.”

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“A third of fossil fuel generating capacity has retired over the last five years,” the report stated, “whilst the capacity from wind, solar, biomass, hydro, and other renewables has tripled.” Reuters says part of this year’s boost comes from the commissioning of several offshore wind farms, including the 660-megawatt Walney Extension [3] project, the world’s largest.

“Britain has a target to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% compared with 1990 levels by 2050, and has asked its climate change experts to advise on whether it should set a date to meet a net zero emissions target,” Reuters states. “Of the main renewable sources, Britain now has more than 20 GW of wind power capacity, 13 GW of solar, and 3.2 GW of biomass.”