• Britain sources more zero-carbon electricity than from fossil fuels for first time in 2019

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Britain has reached a new milestone in its transition away from heavy reliance on fossil fuels, with 2019 being the first year in which more electricity came from zero-carbon sources than fossil fuels. Coal, which in 1990 contributed 75% of Britain’s electricity, last year only produced 2.1%, although a reverse process has happened with gas: from 0.1% in 1990, it has risen to 38.4%. Together with imported fossil fuel-fired electricity, 43% of electricity was fossil fuelled, while wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, and zero-carbon imports accounted for 48.5% of electricity. The remaining 8.5% was generated from biomass and waste, the former of which could also sometimes be considered zero-carbon. As the National Grid notes, the milestone comes halfway between when Britain first committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (under the Kyoto Protocol in 1990) and its goal for reducing its emissions to net-zero, by 2050.