ECIU: Renewables produced enough electricity to power every British home by 2023

Britain’s wind, solar and hydroelectric power stations produced more than enough renewable electricity to power all of the country’s 28 million homes in 2023, according to new analysis released today by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU).

Offshore and onshore wind turbines, solar farms and hydrogen electricity generators are estimated to have produced more than 90 terawatts (90 TWh) hours of electricity in the 2023 calendar year, while electricity generation from fossil gas-fired power plants has continued to decline, the think tank said. said.

Although renewable energy sources provide enough energy to meet the needs of all UK households, this is not yet sufficient to meet the country’s industrial and commercial electricity needs. Yet the analysis shows that renewable energy generation continued to grow in Britain last year, increasing in every quarter of 2023 compared to 2019.

In contrast, electricity generation from gas fell by 20 to 30 percent every quarter compared to four years ago, and electricity generation from other sources such as biomass and cogeneration also fell, ECIU said.

Yet Britain remains more dependent on fossil gas than any other country in Europe, with around 40 percent of the UK’s electricity and 85 percent of home heating supplied by fossil gas, the price of which has soared in the wake of the coronavirus crisis . 19 pandemic and the Russian war in Ukraine.

As a result, combined with the fact that Britain has the least energy-efficient housing stock in Western Europe, households across the country have been hardest hit by rising energy costs, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Energy costs are expected to remain high in Britain for the foreseeable future, with the energy price cap expected to rise slightly from early January 2023. The average energy bill is now about 50 percent higher than two years ago.

The ECIU reiterated that increasing renewable energy generation, reducing the UK’s gas dependency for electricity and heat and improving household energy efficiency could significantly reduce energy bills for homes and businesses.

For example, it calculated that generating 90 TWh of electricity from gas-fired power stations – the amount supplied by wind, solar and hydropower plants last year – would require more than 180 TWh of more expensive and risky fossil gas, the same amount needed to power 20 million British to heat households. houses.

“Every turn of the blades of an offshore wind turbine reduces our dependence on gas,” said Jess Ralston, ECIU’s head of energy. “As the North Sea continues its inevitable decline, we will have to import increasing amounts of gas, undermining our energy independence. The choice for Britain is stark. Boost UK renewables or import more gas at a price we can’t control.”

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