For sustainable society


The amount of electricity generated by renewable energy exceeds fossil fuel generation

The installation of wind farms on the ocean is increasing, especially in Europe. Offshore wind power generation has an advantage that it is easy to generate a large amount of electricity since wind power is stronger than onshore, and there is nothing to block the wind. Therefore, large-scale offshore wind power generation projects are being carried out mainly in the countries facing the North Sea in Europe, where the wind conditions (how to blow the wind in a specific place) are good and the water depth is shoaling.

The UK is especially eager to install. There are two reasons for this: it is easy to install a generator since the coastline is long and the relatively shoaling sea area is spreading, and a stable airflow is provided due to the westerlies because the country is surrounded by the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.  Taking advantage of such land benefits, the country became one of the world’s leading offshore wind power generation countries. “Carbon Brief”, UK-based website providing the information in climate science, climate policy and energy policy, announced that the amount of electricity generated by renewable energy has exceeded fossil fuel generation in the UK.

According to the survey results, from July to September 2019, the amount of electricity generated by renewable energy such as wind, solar, biomass and hydropower reached 29.5 terawatt hours (TWh), which exceeded the amount of power generated by fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas (29.1TWh). The increase in the amount of electricity generated by renewable energy is mainly due to the launch of an operation of new offshore wind farms. Hornsea Project One, an offshore wind farm located off the Yorkshire coast, began supplying electricity in February 2019, and in July 2019, Beatrice offshore wind farm that is the largest in Scotland launched an operation. At the same time, the UK is planning to close all coal-fired power plants that do not use carbon capture techniques by 2025, and only four coal plants will remain by March 2020.

The UK has set a legally-binding goal of “cutting overall CO2 emissions to net-zero by 2050”; however, Carbon Brief predicted that there are only a few possibilities to achieve the goal even if renewable energy spreads rapidly and the amount of electricity generated by oil fuel continues to decrease. However, Carbon Brief added that the goal may be achieved by reducing CO2 emissions not only from power generation but also from heating and transportation. Naturally, power plants are not the only ones that can contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. Anyone can contribute to climate change if efforts by individuals, such as waste sorting, saving electricity, and switching to EVs for private cars, are promoted.


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