Renewables become Britain’s main power source for the first time

New analysis shows that in Q1 of 2020, renewables generated more power than fossil fuels combined for the first time ever.

The report from EnAppSys found that renewables generated 35.4TWh between January and March, – a significant increase from Q1 2019, when they produced 27.2TWh.

44.6% of total generation was produced by renewables, with the rest generated by gas-fired plants (29.1%), nuclear plants (15.3%), power imports (7.3%) and coal plants (3.7%).

Unusually high winds played a significant role in the increase; overall power output from wind farms exceeded 10GW for 63 per cent of the quarter and 5GW for 85 per cent of the three month period.

Towards the end of the quarter, the impact of Covid-19 resulted a steep drop in demand as the UK moved into the lockdown period. This meant that renewables’ share of the grid mix was higher than expected.

Paul Verrill, director of EnAppSys said: “With weather likely to return to more typical patterns in future quarters, the 45% of electricity generation from renewable sources in the quarter is likely to be a temporary high. However, given recent trends which show that renewables are becoming an increasingly dominant player in Britain’s power mix, the continued build of offshore wind farms and the resurgence in onshore wind should see these levels being achieved more often in the longer term.”