Low carbon share of electricity generation hits new record

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Low carbon electricity generation rose almost 2% to a record three-monthly high, driven largely by higher renewables output, but low sulphur transport fuel costs continue to rise.

The share of low carbon electricity generation by major power producers was up 1.9% from July to September 2018 following a record three-monthly high output from renewables, which contributed 26.1% to electricity generation.

Nuclear power output has also improved by almost 5% over the same period, following a reduction of outages at a number of large reactors which had led to poor performance in the second quarter of 2018.

In terms of overall power capacity, the renewables sector has exceeded total fossil fuel capacity for the first time, with combined output capacity of wind, solar, biomass and hydropower reaching 41.9GW, compared to just 41.2GW from the combined fossil fuel output of coal, gas and oil-fired power plants.

Coal’s share of generation decreased from 2.0% in 2017 Q2 to a record low of 1.6% in 2018 Q2 but picked up slightly from July to September with output rising to 3%, largely due to higher gas prices.

Overall gas provided 43.8% of electricity generation by major power producers and remains the dominant fuel type in the UK.

Highlights for the transport sector from October 2018 to November 2018 show petrol prices are down 1.9p per litre, while regular diesel prices are up 0.5p per litre.

However, the cost of ultra-low sulphur diesel (ULSD) and ultra-low sulphur petrol (ULSP), which are cleaner for the environment, improve engine performance and help reduce harmful particulates, have increased by 14.4p and 9.8p per litre respectively over the last 12 months.

Last reviewed 4 December 2018

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