New figures released by the UK Government show that electricity generated from renewable sources increased 21% in 2014, accounting for 19% of total UK electricity generation.
RenewableUK, the country’s wind and marine energy trade association, applauded the work of the industry and encouraged the UK government to reconsider its decision to cut support for onshore wind — part of the renewable energy industry that is facing devastating subsidy cuts, but the technology that is doing the most in the country’s clean energy sector.
The UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change released its annual Digest of UK Energy Statistics for 2014 (PDF), and described onshore wind as “the leading individual technology for the generation of electricity from renewable sources during 2014,” supplying 29% of the total, while offshore wind generated a further 21%, bringing the country’s total of renewable electricity supplied by wind up to a total of 50%.
Spreading this out over the whole of the UK electricity sector, renewable energy supplied 19.1% of total UK electricity generation, up from 14.9% in 2013. Specifically, onshore and offshore wind accounted for 9.5% of the UK’s electricity generation mix.
“Onshore and offshore wind is delivering the lion’s share of the clean electricity we need to keep the UK powered up,” said RenewableUK’s Director of Policy Dr Gordon Edge. He added:
But, when it comes to onshore wind, the Government is lining up this lion to be shot.
Two-thirds of the public don’t want the onshore wind industry to be killed off –and they’ve said so in every Government opinion poll over the last three years. A clear majority are expressing their support for our most cost-effective technology which can generate significant quantities of clean electricity. The case for supporting wind, onshore and offshore, is backed up by today’s excellent generation statistics as evidence of good progress.
In the face of this evidence, many will ask why the renewable energy sector has been bombarded by a series of punitive Government announcements ever since it took office, including scattergun retrospective changes which will force currently viable energy projects into the red.
We can only hope that today’s statistics will help to focus minds and make the Government think again, so that they can come up with a balanced energy policy that includes encouraging investment in renewables rather than driving business away from the UK.
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