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UK Seeing Strong Solar & Wind Growth

The UK has seen strong growth in both its wind and solar markets so far this year, installing more than 2.5 GW in solar in Q1’15 and breaking the 5 GW installed wind milestone.

According to figures provided by Solar Intelligence obtained from Ofgem, the UK solar industry installed a startling 2.53 GW in the first quarter of 2015. Figures from 2014 showed that the UK’s installed solar PV capacity had grown from 2.8 GW in 2013 to almost 5 GW by the end of the year, which shows just how impressive this year’s Q1’15 growth was.

Of the 2.53 GW installed in the first quarter, 94% of the new capacity is traced back to the renewable obligation-funded, ground-mounted solar farms.

UK Q1 2015 figure

Across the street, RenewableUK has reported that the UK’s offshore wind capacity has surpassed 5 GW. According to the country’s renewable trade organisation, offshore wind capacity has now reached 5.054 GW thanks to the recent inauguration of the Gwynt y Mor wind farm, off the coast of North Wales.

“This is an important landmark, which no other country is anywhere close to equalling, as we have more offshore wind installed than the rest of the world put together,” said RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive, Maf Smith. “It’s further evidence of how much the UK has achieved in developing the offshore wind industry in a short space of time – and there’s a healthy pipeline of projects still to come, as long as Government policy remains supportive. Today’s record capacity translates into decades of clean energy, thousands of green jobs and less dependence on fossil fuels.”

Furthermore, a new report from The Crown Estate — the body which manages land and sea beds on behalf of the Queen — reports that offshore wind generated £19.1 million in revenues for the UK Treasury so far this year. On top of that, Britain’s fleet of offshore wind performed better than ever, generating a record 13.4 TWh of electricity, enough to meet the needs of approximately 3.2 million homes, and an 18% increase on 2013 figures.

Crown Estate-1

“The UK has more offshore wind turbines than the whole of the rest of Europe put together,” said Huub den Rooijen, Head of Offshore Wind. As an active manager of the UK seabed, The Crown Estate has a major role to play in identifying the common challenges facing the industry and putting them on the agenda to help bring down costs and ensure the UK remains the most attractive place to invest in offshore wind.

“With the UK’s offshore wind portfolio on course to double by the end of the decade, this report demonstrates how the sector has established a strong investment proposition underpinned by secure and low carbon energy and is working hard to bring down costs.”

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