The new figures show that a decline in coal, coupled with a rise in the use of relatively low-emissions gas plant has slashed the CO2 emissions connected to the energy generation industry.
Overall, if emissions from other sectors remain unchanged, this should lead to a six per cent reduction in UK-wide C02 emissions for 2016.
Carbon Brief’s data also shows that power generated from wind outstripped that from coal for the first time in 2016. Coal output declined to its lowest level since 1935, accounting for just 9.2 per cent of generation compared to 11.5 per cent from wind.
Renewable UK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck welcomed the news that wind power has achieved this “historic” first. “As old-fashioned coal is phased out, modern technologies like wind are stepping up to make sure consumers have reliable energy without the damaging health impacts of coal pollution – as well as delivering for the UK economy,” she said.
The Carbon Brief data adds to a run of good news for the wind industry, coming on the back of news that three new wind power records were set on Christmas Day.