May was a stellar month for solar power in the United Kingdom thanks to abundant sunshine and temperate weather. Over the course of the month, the nation generated 50 percent more electricity from the sun than from coal, marking a big win for clean renewable energy. A new analysis from Carbon Brief showed that solar power increased while fossil fuel usage dropped, continuing a trend that began earlier in the year.
Solar energy blasted past coal power production on April 9, when more electricity was generated from solar power than coal for the first time on a single day. There were even a number of days in early May where coal energy production fell to zero. Analysts say that is most likely the first time that has happened since the late 19th century, and the trend will probably continue, as coal power stations are running less due to aging technology.
The uptick in renewable energy is not an accident. The British government announced in November 2015 a new goal to shutter all coal power plants by 2025. Some are now calling for officials to move up that timeline, pointing to the boom in solar power as proof that the transition is not only possible, but could be easier than originally thought. Although the UK recently cut subsidies for the solar industry, prices for solar panels have steadily dropped over the past few years, making it a more accessible form of renewable energy.
On a global scale, renewable energy investments are more than double those in fossil fuel power stations, reaching $286 billion at the close of 2015. Despite recent news that investments in renewable energy projects in the UK are at an all-time low, there will be many sunny days ahead.
Via The Guardian