Study predicts renewables will generate more electricity than fossil fuel plants as early as next year

15th January 2019 | Commercial Energy

Renewables are on course to overtake fossil fuels as the primary source of power in Britain during 2020, according to a new report by energy market analyst EnAppSys. The study predicts wind, solar and other forms of renewable generation will generate 121.3 terawatt hours of electricity during 2020 compared with 105.6 terawatt hours from coal-and gas- fired power stations.

The analysis, based on current trends, assumes declining fossil fuel generation versus the rise in generation from renewable sources continues at the same annual rate. Though the EnAppSys report shows coal and gas-fired power stations produced a combined 130.9 terawatt hours against 95.9 terawatt hours from renewables in 2018, the latter figure was an increase of 12.7 terawatt hours – up by 15.2% – on 2017 volumes.


According to the report, in 2018 gas provided 37.6% of the total amount of electricity in the UK, while renewables accounted for 31.2 % and nuclear generation supplied 19.9%. Imports provided 6.3% of electricity while coal supplied 5%.

In 2018 a rise in the number of offshore wind farms that were commissioned or entered full operation during the year, drove the increase in renewables generation, the report states. As levels of renewable generation have climbed, gas-fired output has remained relatively static while levels of coal-fired generation have slumped 89% since 2012.

In the short term at lease, wind will continue to be the primary source of renewable generation having produced a record high share of the renewables mix, 55.4% in 2018, according to the study. EnAppSys director Paul Verrill said, “With the moratorium on onshore wind and reductions in capital cost of offshore wind farms, it is likely that more of these offshore projects will come on stream in future years, which will drive even higher levels of renewable output.

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