Renewable energy ‘on track’ to deliver most of UK electricity by 2050, minister says

Renewable energy ‘on track’ to deliver most of UK electricity by 2050, minister says
Green power generation outpaces fossil fuels for first time, says Greg Hands

Britain is “on track” to see renewable energy account for most of its electricity by the end of the decade, a government minister has said.

Generation from green power sources has rocketed since 2010, Greg Hands said.

Earlier this month, the government announced renewable energy auctions would happen more frequently from next spring – changing from happening every other year to annually – to boost the rollout of clean power sources.

The UK has been urged to move away from fossil fuels as a way to tackle the climate crisis as well as the current energy one, which is being driven by the rising price of gas.

“Renewable electricity generation has more than quadrupled since 2010 having delivered over 40 per cent of generation in 2020, outpacing fossil fuels for the first time ever,” Mr Hands said in a response to a written question from a Labour MP on energy.

He added this was “on track to deliver the majority of electricity by 2030.”

It comes as ministers – including Mr Hands – have spoken in favour of support for the oil and gas sector despite climate goals. The energy minister claimed earlier this month this would help the UK on its way to net-zero emissions by 2050 while protecting jobs.

Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, also said he wanted to encourage more fossil fuel drilling, claiming gas – considered the “cleanest burning” fossil fuel despite still emitting greenhouse gases – was needed in the transition to net zero. This sparked backlash from green groups, with one climate change charity saying his endorsement of fossil fuels was “mind-blowing”.

Environmental organisations have also responded with backlash to reports half a dozen new oil and gas fields are set to be approved in the North Sea – on top of one given the green light in January – this year.

The International Energy Agency said last year there was no room for new fossil fuels if the world wanted to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.