Speed Reading — Zero-Carbon Fuels - Level 6 — 500 wpm

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The United Kingdom has said it is playing its part in striving for a cleaner and greener planet. For the first time since the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries, the UK is being powered more by zero-carbon fuels than fossil fuels. In each of the first five months of 2019, fossil fuels have produced less than half of the UK's electricity. Analysts say a "tipping point" has been reached and the trend of zero-carbon energy sources providing more power than fossil fuels will continue. Power from wind, solar, nuclear and hydro sources outstripped coal and gas-fired generation. A decade ago, three quarters (75.6 per cent) of the UK's electricity came from coal and gas, and only 22.3 per cent was zero carbon.

The switch to more zero-carbon power was described by the UK's energy chief executive as a "key milestone on the journey towards net zero". CEO John Pettigrew said the zero-carbon share should increase to 90 per cent by the 2030s. The UK's Prime Minister Theresa May has made a commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This would make the UK the first major economy to do so. Energy analyst Tom Burke told the BBC: "Today's landmark is a real tribute to technologists. We have cracked technical problems of dealing with climate change." He added: "As we move towards net zero, jobs will be lost in fossil fuel industries and created in low-carbon industries."

Comprehension questions
  1. What did the article say the UK is striving for?
  2. When did the UK last use more carbon zero fuels than fossil fuels?
  3. What kind of point did analysts say the UK has reached?
  4. What did analysts say would happen to the zero-carbon trend in the UK?
  5. How much of the UK's electricity came from coal and gas a decade ago?
  6. What did a chief executive call the switch to more zero-carbon power?
  7. When will the UK's zero-carbon share increase to 90% in the UK?
  8. When did the UK's leader say the UK would be carbon net zero?
  9. What problems did an analyst say technologists had cracked?
  10. Where will jobs be created in the UK?

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