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A green Christmas? 41% of electricity used on Xmas Day was renewable

A study shows that 41% of the power used in UK homes on Christmas Day came from wind, sun, hydro-power and biomass.

Wind power helped to fuel a ‘green Christmas’ in 2016

Published on the Sky News website on the 29th December 2016


Renewable sources provided 41% of electricity used in the UK on Christmas Day.

A study for energy company Drax by experts at Imperial College London shows a 25% increase from last year as wind, sun, hydro-power and biomass powered a green Christmas.

Wind power accounted for three quarters of the renewable energy used and supplied more than 30% of the total electricity generated on 25th December in the UK.

Figures from another source, the MyGridGB website, give an estimate for the share of green energy slightly higher at 43%.

Overall, low carbon sources of energy, including nuclear, provided 70% of electricity for Christmas Day.

The cooking of Christmas dinner caused a nationwide peak in the consumption of energy

Gas and coal accounted for 17% and 7% respectively.

Demand is generally lower on Christmas Day because many businesses are shut.

MyGridGB points to a peak around lunchtime, which they ascribe to the preparation of festive dinners across the country.

Andy Koss, chief executive at Drax Power, said: “These Christmas figures show that the UK energy system really is changing.

“Renewables are increasingly vital to the UK’s energy mix as we decarbonise and move away from coal.”

Drax has switched half of its coal-fired power stations in Yorkshire to burn wood pellets and wants to move towards more biomass-generated energy.

Environmentalists have asked questions about just how green the burning of wood pellets actually is.

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