Positive changes in Britain’s electricity

Positive changes in Britain’s electricity


By Active Building Centre, Academic Research Team

It’s been revealed that Britain has the cleanest electrical supply it has ever had, as zero-carbon energy became the country’s largest electricity supply in 2019.

In an article by Grant Wilson, a lecturer in chemical engineering at the University of Birmingham who receives funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council as part of the Active Building Project, the statistics from National Grid show that Britain’s electricity demand and generation has transformed over the last decade, with the country on track to becoming a zero-carbon economy.


Reusable energy accounts for more than half of electricity generation in Great Britain

The end of the decade marked a rise in renewables and a decline in fossil fuel energy.

In 2010, 75% of the electricity Great Britain generated came from coal and natural gas. However, by the end of the decade, these fossils fuels – coal, gas, and other carbon sources such as oil and diesel – accounted for just 40% of electricity generation. Wind farms, solar and nuclear energy, as well as energy imported by subsea cables, delivered almost half of Britain’s electricity by 2019.


Electricity demand in Great Britain falls

Not only has there been an evident shift in electrical generation, but there has also been a change in the country’s demand for electricity.

There was a significant reduction in electricity consumption. The amount of electricity Britain consumed fell by almost 15% between 2010 and 2019. While several contributing factors, like a stagnant in wages and less consumerism in Britain, would have impacted Britain’s electricity demand, our country’s efforts to become more energy efficient is a key driver.


The future of electricity in Britain

Although the rise in renewable energy is positive, there’s still a challenge for getting Britain to depend less on fossil fuels for transport, heating and water and debate on decarbonising Britain’s heating supply.

Over the next decade, we’ll see more renewable energy deployed to try and tackle these issues and change the way people generate and use energy. At Active Building Centre, we’ve put plans in place to build 10,000 Active Buildings in Britain, which are highly energy-efficient, zero carbon buildings integrating renewable energy technologies for heat, power, and transport with different types of heat and electrical storage.

At Active Building Centre, we actively support the energy infrastructure. We work with industrial and academic partners to change the way energy is delivered and used in the UK. These statistics are reassuring that as a nation, we’re relying less on fossil fuels and are heading in the right direction to becoming a net-zero carbon economy by 2050, and hit the UK decarbonisation targets.

Read the full article on Britain’s electricity and predictions for the next decade over on The Conversation.

Published January 2020