Renewable power's share of UK electricity generation fell to 24.4% in 2016 from 24.6% the previous year, according to provisional government data released today. 

The government said low wind, less rain and fewer sun hours were the reason for the drop. 

Coal's share of generation dropped to 9.1% last year from 22.3% in 2015, a fall of almost 60%. 

Natural gas increased its share to 42.4% in 2016 from 29.5% the previous year.   

Overall, electricity generation was 0.2% lower last year than in 2015. 

Renewable Energy Association chief executive Nina Skorupska said: “It is excellent to see a near 60% reduction in coal generation between 2015 and 2016, now the task is to upgrade our infrastructure so that we are internationally competitive in a global low-carbon economy.  

“We urge all parties to commit to annual renewable energy auctions in the next parliament in order to quickly, reliably and cheaply secure new generation capacity.”  

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