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Renewables overtake coal in UK electricity generation, says EnAppSys

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Renewable energy has overtaken coal as the third largest contributor to UK electricity generation, according to a report from energy data specialist EnAppSys.

A 31 percent increase in generation from green sources in Q3 of 2015 saw it rise above coal, whilst gas and nuclear power remain in first and second place.

Between July-September this year, renewables provided 14.3TWh of generation – 20 percent of Britain’s 32GW average daily output. Gas-fired plants generated 31.8 percent of overall electricity generation with nuclear plants contributing 22 percent.

During the same period coal’s share of generation output fell by 54 percent from the same point in 2014, attributed to lower gas prices and summer maintenances outages.

Paul Verrill, director of EnAppSys, said: “Renewables are increasingly offsetting the decline in coal-fired electricity generation, and are playing an increasing role in meeting Britain’s energy needs as their relative contribution increases.

“Further plant closures within the GB electricity market look likely as levels of generation at plants on the edge of the market remain low, with a number of older gas-fired plants likely to drop out the market.

“With market conditions for conventional generation continuing to worsen, it is unlikely that these lost plants will be replaced within the market unless the payments under the capacity market encourages new build capacity or the tightening reserve margin translates to consistently higher peak prices.”