Britain’s renewable energy capacity overtakes fossil fuels

There has been something of a landmark this year as the rising capacity of Britain’s renewable energy crossed paths with the falling capacity of our fossil fuel generation.

A third of Britain’s fossil fuel capacity has closed in the last five years, according to Drax (the energy firm, not the time lord or the Destroyer). Renewable energy capacity has continued to expand, and this year it takes the lead.

This is capacity, mind you – not generation itself. The actual energy mix will vary depending on the seasons and the weather, and fossil fuels are still winning in the production stakes. But the economics are against them, and their decline and replacement is incontrovertible.

Interestingly, this crossover has occurred despite a hostile environment towards renewable energy, including the obstruction of onshore wind. With the cutting of support for solar power, PV capacity may plateau in 2019. But perhaps graphs like this one will change a few minds about where the future lies, and reset some policies in favour of the transition.


  1. This article gives an interesting analysis of the PV scene; I find the bar chart at the end quite revealing. I think it shows government action has threatened its growth, and it’s not yet certain how quickly it may recover:
    Thanks to Fran on Westmill Sustainable Energy Trust FB group for this:

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