Imperial College London have found that the UK’s emissions within the power sector are decreasing faster than anywhere else in the world.
In the past decade, emissions in the UK fell by approximately two thirds. This progress is a result from the switch to renewable energy sources rather than coal and natural gas.
As a result of this transition, CO2 emissions have dropped by 107 million metric tonnes in ten years. This was from 161 million metric tonnes in 2010 to 54 million metric tonnes in 2019.
If this unprecedented rate of change can be maintained moving forwards, renewable energy will provide around half of the UK’s electricity by 2020. This would result in the power system being nearly carbon free.
In light of these findings, the largest reason for the reduction in emissions wasn’t renewables, but the decrease in demand for power. This comes as a result of efficient manufacturing of products such as energy efficient lighting. These results were found regardless of the rise in GDP and a 7% increase in the population.
Despite this reduction, electricity levels are expected to begin rising again. This will be due to the transition into electric systems and technologies. For example, electric vehicles instead of petrol or diesel cars and heat pumps instead of boilers. All of these electric alternatives will drive the demand for power once again.
Business Green discusses this news further here.