2017 has been the cleanest year for electricity generation in the UK, according to new figures from National Grid. In June wind, solar and nuclear power generated more electricity than coal and gas. In April, the UK had its first day without coal-fired power generation since the start of the industrial revolution. A total of 13 new, clean-energy records were recorded in 2017. Britain now has the fourth cleanest power system in Europe and the seventh-cleanest globally, having halved its carbon emissions in electricity-generation sector since 2012. Figures from MyGridGB, a power research group, show similar findings. They say that for 90% of 2017 (up to 12 December) renewable sources provided more power than coal and that UK wind farms outperformed coal-powered plants on 75% of days this year. Figures earlier this year also showed that offshore wind power has fallen below the price of nuclear power for the first time. The government remains committed to phasing out unabated coal by 2025 to meet legal obligations on the reduction of gas emissions. Unabated coal is coal burnt in plants without carbon capture technology. However, there are warning for the government too. Dr Andrew Crossland from MyGridGB and the Durham Energy Institute said: "The government has focused on reducing coal use which now supplies less than 7% of our electricity. "However, if we continue to use gas at the rate that we do, then Britain will miss carbon targets and be dangerously exposed to supply and price risks in the international gas markets." UK Energy Department spokesman claims that, "The UK is a world leader in clean growth," and is reducing emissions faster than any other G7 country. Energy Island The Guardian reports that TenneT the Dutch grid operator is planning a giant offshore windfarm at Dogger Bank in the North Sea. The cluster of wind-generators would be built around an artificial island. The island would have conversion facilities to alter the alternating current to direct current, to allow transmission over long distances. The position of the island would allow access to various Northern European markets, so the power can be sold at the best price. TenneT believes that the project could deal with up to 30Gw of power. This is equivalent to more than double current wind power capacity across Europe. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/29/is-this-the-future-dutch-plan-vast-windfarm-island-in-north-sea http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42495883
Questions Does the UK still need coal for power generation? How is the UK generating most of its electricity? What is the situation in your country?
Vocabulary Highlight text for solutions generation – the making of (electric) power the industrial revolution – the start of the industrial age coal-fired generation – making electricity by burning coal carbon emissions – exhaust gases in the atmosphere renewable – can be used again and again to outperform – to be more efficient than to be committed to – to promise to do something to phase out – to gradually stop using a cluster – a group equivalent to - the same as
Grammar In the first 5 paragraphs 3 different verb tenses are used. Can you identify them and explain why they are being used? What is the function of ‘having’ in paragraph 5? Highlight below for solutions
Present perfect, past simple (3 times) and the present simple. They are used to describe an unfinished time period (2017 has been the cleanest year …), finished time periods (In June wind, solar and nuclear power generated more electricity…) and a current, generally true situation (Britain now has the fourth cleanest power system in Europe and the seventh-cleanest globally …)
‘…having’ introduces a participle clause. The participle clause is used to add more information to the sentence.