Renewable energy outpaced fossil fuels for 137 days in 2019, a record number that’s made 2019 the greenest year ever for the UK’s energy sector. This is a truly fantastic achievement, made all the more remarkable when you consider that as recently as 1990, 75% of the UK’s electricity was fuelled by burning coal. Fast forward to 2019, and that number had fallen to just 2.1%, which says a lot of things about our changing attitudes as a nation.
With changing public perceptions and growing favour for renewables, we’re steadily moving away from fossil fuels and other limited sources of energy, thanks in part to increasing numbers of business opting for commercial solar panels for their premises. So what’s the current status of the UK’s energy mix, and where do we stand moving into 2020?
As the climate crisis reaches a new stage in 2020, it’s fair to say that few UK industries are feeling the heat quite like the energy sector. Happily, we seem to be moving in the right direction, according to a new report by the Carbon Brief, which used data from BM Reports, as well as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The report states that renewable energy grew by 9% last year, encompassing wind, solar panels, hydro and biomass projects. Meanwhile, the generation from coal and gas plants dropped by 6%, and our dependence on these has ultimately halved from where we were at the start of the decade.
Now, low carbon electricity made up more than half (54%) of the UK’s energy mix last year, for the first time in our history. It’s a significant step on the government’s long-term plan of creating a carbon neutral economy, which means we can only use as much carbon as we’re able to capture and store. The ultimate aim is to cut our emissions to net zero by 2050. However, as industry analysts have highlighted, there’s still a long way to go.
It’s fair to say that as UK citizens, we all have a vested interest in cutting our emissions, both from a personal and commercial perspective. That said, as a business owner, there are a lot of fantastic bonuses you can enjoy by switching to solar for your own energy supply. To start off with, generating your own energy means that you can rely less on the National Grid, ultimately leading to lower energy costs each year. On a related note, increasing your energy independence also helps protect your business against region-wide outages or power cuts.
And of course, it’s a clear and demonstrable sign of your commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, which is becoming an ever more pressing issue for the public and businesses alike as we move into a new decade. Customers are now more selective of the products and services they use, and often factor the perceived CSR of a business into the purchasing decisions. In that sense, not only are you safeguarding the future of the planet, but it’s also a handy way to get one up on your competitors. Not bad, all in all!
Here at Low Carbon Energy, we’ve got over 25 years of installing solar panels for a huge variety of businesses and organisations. Just give us a call on 01282 421 489, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be happy to help in any way we can!