18.08.16 Fossil-free UK on horizon

The UK is well on its way to totally dropping the use of coal to generate its electricity – the first time since 1882 when our very first coal-fired power station started up. However, let's not get carried away here, we've still got some work to do to catch up with our European neighbours when it comes to clean green energy generation. Take Sweden for example, at the last count just over half of its energy supply came from renewables. In Norway it's 69% – and they're sitting on huge oil reserves that it would be oh-so easy and cheap to turn to, and in Iceland it's a staggering 77%. On windy days in Denmark they can generate all of the electricity they need and still have some left to sell to Germany. So what are they doing that we aren't? Well, quite simply, they've kept their focus and haven't been distracted by shale gas and nuclear like us. They've just quietly got on with decarbonising their energy while we tinker around the edges. In 2015 only 22% of our electricity was generated by renewables. Although the renewables share is increasing and for the first time it outperformed coal, just think how much better the UK would be doing if the government really got behind renewables. If we can get all that gold at the Olympics then I'm pretty sure that we can easily achieve green for our energy.

Sources: Energy Savings Trust Blog and Edie Newsroom