It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious about the climate crisis.

So here are some good climate news stories that show quite how far humanity has already come in our journey to net zero.

Fossil fuels provided the lowest amount of electricity to our grid in 65 years

In 2023, fossil fuels (gas, coal and oil) provided the lowest amount of electricity to the UK grid since 1957.

Electricity from fossil fuels also fell to its lowest ever percentage – at just 33% (only 1% of that being coal).

Meanwhile, renewables powered ahead to 43% of the fuel mix – their biggest share ever.

There are two main reasons behind this. Firstly, renewables in the UK have had a huge boom, increasing by six times since 2008. And secondly, electricity demand in the UK is on the decline, due to more efficient appliances and lighting; as well as a shift away from manufacturing industries.

Old coal mine provides renewable heating for North-east town

For the last six months, the water that’s flooded an abandoned coal mine has been used to heat over 350 homes and businesses in north-eastern town Gateshead.

The water is heated by natural geothermal processes, and then passed through heat pumps to heat it up further.

With 25% of UK homes and businesses above old coal mines, this be replicated across the country –fighting climate change and creating jobs in areas previously disadvantaged by mine closures.

The world’s largest offshore windfarm is generating at full capacity

Hornsea 2 is the largest offshore wind farm in the world and it is now operating at full capacity – great news for the climate. Based off the Yorkshire coast, its 165 turbines cover an area equal to more than half the size of New York City.

It helps power more than 1.4 million homes in the UK every year. ⚡️

Researchers have modified solar panels so they can generate electricity at night time too.

It’s widely known that solar panels only generate power while the sun is shining… until now!

Researchers at Stanford University have recently modified solar panels to enable them to generate a small amount of electricity overnight, using a process called radiative cooling. While it’s not a lot of electricity, it could still power processes like lighting, charging devices, and keep sensors and monitoring equipment online. 

Renewables are set to overtake coal by 2025.

A report from the IEA has found that renewable generation is planned to account for more than 90% of electricity expansion across the world over the next five years, and this planned increase in renewable capacity is more than was built in the past 20 years.

This massive expansion is 30% higher than was predicted before the crisis.  

What’s more, renewables are finally set to overtake coal as the world’s biggest source of power by early 2025.  

A zero emissions shuttle service was debuted at Glastonbury 2023

Glastonbury Festival has a population the size of the city of Bristol. And for the first time, tens of thousands of revellers will travel to 2023’s festival directly from Bristol via the UK’s first electric shuttle bus service.

Run in partnership with EV company Zenobe and National Express, the zero emission service meant each bus saved around 350kg of carbon emissions each day compared to diesel alternatives.

EVs will one day be able to drive 1000km on one charge

Good news for our climate, and our transport systems: the world’s biggest manufacturer of EV batteries has announced a major breakthrough that could provide enough power for an electric car to travel 1,000km.

This ‘condensed’ battery can store almost double the power of Tesla’s top-of-the-range cell, and is set to be put into mass production later this year.

Iceland turn carbon emissions into solid rock

Over 50% of the electricity used in Iceland is generated at geothermal power stations. While it’s a renewable energy, the process does emit a small amount of CO2. Scientists have discovered a way to capture this CO2, dissolve it in large amounts of water, and inject it deep underground where it solidifies in under two years.

Carbon capture is controversial — it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to keep burning fossil fuels. But it’s great to see specific cases of it working alongside a renewable energy source.