Thursday, 3 July 2014
Renewable Energy meets 20% of all UK electricity generation.
Renewable UK says new statistics published this week by the Department of Energy and Climate Change prove the case for wind power, and makes nonsense of the Governments ban on future onshore wind farms.
The figures show that 19.4% of all the UK’s electricity mix in the first quarter of this year was generated from renewable energy sources, compared to 12.4% in 2013. DECC says the primary reason for the increase was improved performance and greater capacity from onshore and offshore wind power.
Total renewable electricity generation was a record 18.1 terawatt hours in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 12.7 terawatt hours the previous year, an increase of 43%. This is enough to power some 15 million homes for the quarter. Coal, gas and nuclear production all fell in the same period.
Onshore wind showed the highest absolute increase in generation, increasing by 62% to 6.6 terawatt hours, with offshore wind increasing by 53% to 4.4 terawatt hours. This made onshore wind the largest source of renewable electricity, with the technology providing 7.2% of all electricity across the UK. The combined total for onshore and offshore wind was nearly 12% of all electricity generated..
The increase was partially due to increases in installed capacity, but also record high performance factors (load factors) of 40.4% for onshore wind and 54.3% for offshore wind. In addition, wave and tidal production increased 77%.
The paper also confirms previously released statistics for 2013, once again showing record performance for renewables across the year, led by onshore wind. However, the document does confirm that progress towards the overall energy target, including heat and transport, was below the interim target that the Government set out for 2013, highlighting the need to keep investing in renewable electricity – including onshore wind.
RenewableUK’s Director of External Affairs Jennifer Webber said: “Once again, wind delivered strongly for the UK in the first quarter of the year – when we need power most - providing nearly 12% of all our electricity.
“At a time when some politicians were finalising their plans to rule out any future support for onshore wind, it was quietly generating enough electricity for the equivalent of over 5 and a half million homes. Offshore wind also made a significant contribution to getting us off the hook of fossil fuels and reducing our dependence imported energy.
“Onshore wind is delivering today, and it’s deeply illogical to talk about limiting its potential. Without the strong performance of wind last year, the Government would have been even further behind its energy targets. That’s why we need to ensure that there’s continued investment in both onshore and offshore wind moving forward.”
Edited version of a NextGen report.