Increased generation capacity, high wind speeds, and low electricity demand has pushed the share of electricity generated from renewable energy sources closer to 20% in the United Kingdom.
According to the data released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the share of electricity from renewable energy sources in the UK’s total electricity mix reached 19.4% during the first quarter of 2014, a substantial increase from 12.4% a year earlier. The total electricity generated from renewable energy sources increased by 43% in Q1 2014 compared to a year earlier.
The increased in generation was due to year-on-year increase in wind energy generation capacity by 14.5% and high wind speeds that pushed the total electricity generation from onshore and offshore wind energy projects to 11 TWh, an increase of 57% compared to the generation in Q1 2013.
The share of renewable energy-based electricity also got a boost due to an overall reduction in the electricity generation. During Q1 2014 the electricity generation was 93.3 TWh compared to 101.7 TWh a year earlier. This reduction in overall generation contributed 1.6 percentage points of the 6.9 percentage point increase in the renewables share, the DECC reported.
Onshore wind energy had a share of 37% in the 18 TWh electricity generated from all renewable energy technologies in Q1 2014 contributing over 6.6 TWh electricity to the UK grid. This marks a substantial increase if one considers the onshore wind energy generation in Q3 2013 (2.7 TWh). Offshore wind energy also increased its share in the renewable energy power mix by 53% compared to a year earlier.
Electricity generated from solar photovoltaic projects registered an impressive increase of 77% as the installed capacity jumped by 60% to almost 3.5 GW. Hydro power assets also generated 77% more electricity than they had a year ago even though virtually no hydro power capacity was added during the 12 months prior to Q1 2014.
At the end of Q1 2014, the UK had an installed renewable energy capacity of 20,751 MW with an addition of 2,748 MW during the preceding 12 months. Onshore wind energy had a share of 37%, offshore wind energy a share of 18%, solar PV a share of 17% and plant biomass a share of 10% in the installed capacity.
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