Last year was a monumental year for energy in Britain. For the first time ever the country drew more power from renewable sources than fossil fuels, hitting a crucial milestone not only in its ambition to be Net Zero by 2050 but in the global battle against climate change.

The data released by National Grid shows that renewable energy delivered 48.5 percent of Britain’s electricity across the full 12 months as opposed to just 43 percent from fossil fuels. This is incredibly positive because it shows that the country is making significant Net Zero progress while also highlighting that the UK energy network’s procedures to decarbonise the nation are succeeding.

For decades the energy networks have been building new systems and processes to ensure the country can draw more and more of its energy from renewable sources therefore reducing its carbon footprint. Since 1990 nearly £4,000 has been invested for every household in the country with a further £1,600 being invested right now under the current price control. This has fuelled the production of wind and solar farms, hydro plants and alternative gas sources such as hydrogen and biomethane which have resulted in nearly 100 green gas production plants and the equivalent of 10 Hinckley Point C power plants in renewable energy being added.

However, the energy networks aren’t resting on their laurels. They have also been fundamentally redesigning the way renewable energy sources can be connected to the energy grid making it quicker and easier to do so. One such example is the Open Networks Project.

The Open Networks Project is a major industry initiative that is transforming the way the energy networks operate, underpinning the delivery of a smart grid. It will enable more homes, businesses and communities to make use of new smart energy technologies more quickly, easily and cost effectively while decarbonising the energy they consume.

Such technologies will include access to flexible energy markets that allow power to be drawn from local energy sources including their own as well as the national energy grid, make use of electric vehicles and charge points and even regulate homes and businesses with smart thermostats.

By adopting these new technologies customers will gain greater control of their energy and could save close to £1bn on their bills. But, it doesn’t stop there. The country itself could save up to £40bn by 2050.

The results released by National Grid are incredibly encouraging and puts the UK in the best possible position to tackle climate change and reach its 2050 Net Zero target. Of course, the climate emergency is a global problem but if the UK can continue to lead by example and implement smart and innovative renewable energy solutions, the rest of the world will follow.

For further information, please visit the Securing a Greener Future website at:

Notes to Editors

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About Securing a Green Future

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the role energy network companies have to play in tackling the climate emergency by providing the infrastructure needed to decarbonise our economy. Find out more at:

Fast facts about the role Britain’s energy networks are playing to decarbonise our economy:

  • A third of Britain’s electricity is now generated from renewable sources that have been connected to energy networks, helping reduce UK carbon emissions to their lowest level since 1888 (BEIS, CCC)
  • Britain’s local electricity grids have connected the equivalent of ten Hinkley Point C power plants in the last ten years – over 30GW in total (BEIS)
  • Nearly 100 green gas production plants are now connected across the country (ABDA) – green gas could be used to heat up to 15m homes by 2050 (Cadent)
  • The UK economy will need to spend between 1-2% of its total wealth each year to reach Net Zero by 2050 (CCC)
  • Great Britain could save up to £40bn by 2050 by creating a more innovative, flexible energy system (Imperial College)
  • Nearly £4,000 has been invested for every household in GB grid infrastructure in the country since privatisation in 1990 – £100bn in total (Ofgem)
  • Another £1,600 is being invested for every household right now, under the current price control (2013-2023) – £45bn in total (Ofgem)
  • Private investment helps bring down bills – electricity network costs have fallen by almost a fifth since privatisation whilst £100bn has been invested (Ofgem)

About Energy Networks Association (ENA)

  • Energy Networks Association represents the companies that are responsible for operating the ‘wires and pipes’ of Britain’s gas and electricity network infrastructure, serving over 30 million customers across the country