The most powerful known greenhouse gas has been leaking into the Earth’s atmosphere due to the green energy boom, it was reported on Friday night.
Sulphur hexafluoride, or SF6, is widely used in the electrical industry to prevent short circuits and accidents.
It is 23,500 times more warming than carbon dioxide (CO2), and just one kilogram warms the Earth as much as 24 people flying London to New York return.
The drive to use mixed sources of power, including wind, solar and gas, rather than coal as fuel has resulted in a rise in the number of electrical devices that use SF6, the BBC said.
A study from the University of Cardiff found that across all transmission and distribution networks, the amount used was increasing by 30-40 tonnes per year.