In the last six months, the UK has generated more of its electricity from solar panels installed in fields and on houses than was generated using coal. Meanwhile, the European Union has today voted to ratify the Paris climate treaty.

In the United Kingdom from April to September 2016, some 6,696 gigawatt hours (5.4% of the UK's electricity over the period) were generated by solar power whilst 6,342 gigawatt hours were produced from coal fired power stations.

This trend is not expected to continue into the winter, as with shorter daylight hours, solar panels will generate less electricity, whilst a greater demand for electricity in the winter be met in part by the UK's seven working coal power stations.  Two further coal power stations are used only to provide reserve power, whilst a tenth is currently being converted to a biomass power station.  

Coal-fired power stations produce twice as much in carbon emissions as gas-fired power stations, so the current trend for decreasing the use of coal-fired energy generation is good news for the planet.

Meanwhile, the European Parliament has today voted by 610 votes to 38 against (with 31 abstentions) to ratify the Paris climate treaty.  The treaty aims to limit the production of greenhouse gases and keep any future rise in average global temperatures to well below 2 degrees Centigrade.

The treaty needs at least 55 countries representing 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions to fully ratify it in order to become operational.  UN Secretary General said that with the EU's agreement to ratify the treaty, he was confident that the 55% threshold would be crossed 'very soon, in just a matter of a few days."

So that's two reasons to feel good.  We are starting to see that renewables really work and that if the world works together, we can all start to take better care of our planet.

Photo by juwi Renewable Energies Limited

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