Fossil fuels took a hit today, with the UK generating over a quarter of its energy from renewable sources in the second quarter of 2015. Coal use has fallen, and generated just over 20 per cent of our energy during the same period. Coal is losing to renewables for the first time ever.
The generation of renewables leapt by nearly 10 per cent in a year. Coal has fallen by nearly the same amount. This is the direction of travel students want to see: moving away from fossil fuels, and towards 100 per cent clean energy.
This week, we discovered that 89 per cent of students support the use of renewable energy for electricity, fuel and heating. Less than 1 per cent oppose it. It’s a very clear message from young people: this is the way forward for the UK economy.
But in spite of this success, the Government is trying to wreck the progress of renewables.
Last month, they announced the scrapping of the feed in tariff scheme – a fair and effective form of subsidy, which allowed people who generated more energy than they used to sell it back to the grid. Without it, countless renewables projects will no longer be viable. Yet, we still subsidise the fossil fuel industry with billions of pounds.
We need to keep 80 per cent of fossil fuels in the ground, so signs of the declining use of coal are fantastic. But we can’t allow government to wreck our emerging low-carbon economy.
69 per cent of students think that the government isn’t doing enough to support renewables, and the situation could be about to get much worse.
We’ve generated over a quarter of our energy from renewable sources. We’re moving in the right direction, and proving it can be done. Any attack on this success story is an ideological decision to support fossil fuels and compromise our climate. If the government won't continue to support renewables, it's up to us - the student movement - to do it instead.