New data released last week by the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change reveals that the country’s share of electricity generated by renewables hit a new record of 22.3% in the first quarter of the year.
The 2.6% increase on the electricity generated by renewables in the first quarter of 2014 was mostly as a result of increased capacity, according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), which also noted that wind speeds were slightly slower and rainfall marginally higher, impacting wind and hydro respectively (see below).
Renewable electricity generated a record 21.1 TWh in Q1’2015, an increase of 15% over the 18.4 TWh of Q1’2014 (see below).
More specifically, renewable electricity generation in the first quarter of 2015 was led by onshore and offshore wind, as well as plant biomass. Onshore wind generated 7,001 GWh of electricity, followed by offshore wind with 4,662 GWh, and plant biomass in third with 4,322 GWh. Hydro is worthy of mention, generating 2,007 GWh. Solar PV only managed to generate 761 GWh for the quarter, but let’s put that down to stereotypical England weather.
Renewable electricity capacity reached 26.4 GW in the first quarter, spearheaded by onshore and offshore wind, as well as solar PV. Onshore wind has a cumulative capacity of 8,850 GW, a 12.1% increase on a year earlier. Offshore wind has a cumulative capacity of 4,749 GW, with an impressive 26.2% growth YoY, while solar PV jumped a whopping 64%, reaching 6,823 GW.
These figures come at an important time for the renewable energy industry in the UK, which is currently looking to fight the Government’s own attempts to scale back its financial support for the sector. These increasing record figures could represent an important argument for continuing financial aid for the renewable energy sector, at the same time as the Government is subsidizing fossil fuel energy.
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