June 30 brings two clean records for Britain, renewables hit 55.3% share

Wind farm in UK. Author: Mycatkins. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic

July 24 (Renewables Now) - The UK has managed to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from electricity to just 97 g per kWh on June 30, thus breaking the prior record of 104 g per kWh that was achieved last summer.

This is the first time that the UK Committee on Climate Change’s 2030 target of 100 g per kWh has been met for a whole day, power producer Drax Group Plc (LON:DRX) said in a statement today.

“The amount of carbon saved is equivalent to taking every single car and van off the UK’s roads, or what would be produced if every single person in the UK flew to Beijing and back,” commented Iain Staffell of the Imperial College London, who analysed Drax’s Electric Insights data.

Drax itself registered a 52% reduction in its carbon emissions in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period last year, it noted.

On the same day, more than half of Britain’s electricity came from renewables (55.3%) for the first time ever. Wind accounted for about 39%, while 9% came from solar, 8% from biomass and 1% from hydro. The previous such record was 49.4% on September 21, 2018.

Drax operates its namesake power station at Selby in North Yorkshire, England. In August 2018, the company finalised the conversion of the fourth biomass generating unit there and now has just two still running on coal.

“If we can scale up our successful bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, Drax could become the world’s first negative emissions power station in the mid-2020s, helping to achieve the government’s net zero by 2050 carbon target,” CEO Will Gardiner said today.

Drax explained the clean record on June 30 with the fact that it was a windy and sunny day with lower power demand than usual.

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