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Science News: Britain’s shift to clean power

– G.A., Senior Editor

As the home of the world’s first coal-fired power station, Britain has long been one of the world’s major consumers of fossil fuels. However, in the face of growing alarm about the state of the Earth’s climate, Britain has made strides to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and these efforts are making a measurable difference.

In the first five months of 2019, Britain was able to produce more power from carbon-free sources than fossil fuels. This is an important landmark as it represents the first time since the Industrial Revolution that Britain has been mostly powered by renewable or clean energy.

In addition to switching from coal to natural gas in power stations, Britain has invested heavily in offshore wind energy and solar power. Eventually, coal-fired power plants will be completely phased out by 2025 and there are plans to import clean hydroelectric power from Norway.

Given Britain’s reputation for respecting and upholding tradition, it would not have been a surprise if the British government had been slow to respond to concerns about the use of fossil fuels. However, by proactively adopting new sources of energy and setting aggressive targets for carbon emissions, Britain can now be viewed by other countries as a leader in the battle against climate change.

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