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HomeGerman NewsThe UK’s energy transition is cheaper and more efficient than Germany

The UK’s energy transition is cheaper and more efficient than Germany

GBritain, the homeland of the Industrial Revolution, is saying goodbye to coal-faster than most other major industrialized countries. Public power generation began in 1892 at the Holborn Viaduct in London. This was the world’s first coal-fired power station, which was almost entirely based on fossil fuels for a long time. Now the British have stopped urgently. Ten years ago, coal-fired power plants accounted for 40% of the total power generation. Now it has dropped to 1.8%.

The Johnson administration has now decided that the last coal-fired power plant will be permanently closed in 2024. Among the industrialized countries, so far only smaller countries such as Belgium, Sweden and Austria have completely abandoned coal. Nearly two-thirds of France’s electricity comes from nuclear power, and coal-fired power stations are no longer needed; according to the coal compromise, Germany will withdraw in 2038. On the other hand, China, India and Indonesia are building hundreds of new coal-fired power plants. So far, there has been no discussion about the global withdrawal from coal.

The wind is very strong, the energy is very big

In the UK, coal elimination is not brought about by the planned economy, but by price signals. Eight years ago, the government imposed a surcharge on EU emissions prices, which rose to 18 pounds (approximately 20 euros). This makes coal-fired power plants unprofitable. To a large extent, gas-fired power plants that emit much less carbon dioxide have taken over the production of electricity; they contribute more than a third to meeting demand.

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Renewable energy has been greatly developed. They met 43% of last year’s electricity demand. In particular, wind turbines (accounting for 24% of electricity generation) are an important factor in large wind farms in the North Sea or the Irish Sea. The second largest renewable energy source (12%) is biomass. The role of the solar system is quite small, only 4%.

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