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Renewables produce 33.4% of GB power in Q1 amid dwindling coal

Predicted view of the Braemore wind farm. Image by Wind Prospect Developments (braemorewindfarm.co.uk).

April 19 (Renewables Now) - Renewables were responsible for 33.4% of Great Britain’s total power production mix in the first quarter of 2019, coming second only to gas-fired generation, new figures by EnAppSys show.

The output of the country’s renewable power plants reached 27.2 TWh and registered a new record for the three-month period. This was an improvement from 25.01 TWh in the first quarter of 2018, while in sequential terms generation went down from 28.13 TWh. Gas-fired plants, meanwhile, accounted for 39.5% with 32.21 TWh produced and nuclear power stations generated 13.06 TWh for a 16.0% share.

Wind provided 16.55 TWh of the fist-quarter renewables output, up 5% from the year-ago period, and thus became the largest contributor with a 60.8% share. Thanks to the high wind levels in the winter period, wind power generation exceeded that of nuclear plants, which stood at 13.1 TWh.

The second largest renewables source in terms of production was biomass, with 6.16 TWh produced and a 22.6% share. As for solar, the quarterly output was 2.72 TWh, which accounted for 10% of the renewable generation in the period and, in spite of the winter season, increased by 46% in annual terms. Hydropower accounted for 6.5% with 1.78 TWh produced.

According to EnAppSys’ Q1 market report, coal is “effectively ceasing to be a major fuel source in the Great Britain power market.” Production from coal-fired plants dropped by 65% on the year to 2.9 TWh, giving coal a meager 3.5% of the total power output.

“[..] the market continues to progress towards an increasingly green future and this evolution will be supported by news that National Grid is seeking to manage the system without any carbon emissions for a number of hours by 2025,” said Paul Verrill, director of EnAppSys.

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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