Solar & Wind Power Growth In UK From 2012–2020 (Charts)

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At the end of 2020, I published a report on solar power, wind power, and fossil fuel power market share changes from 2010 to 2020. A helpful reader, Mike Dyke, directed me to UK data for the same period. Below, you can see how wind power and solar power grew in the country as coal collapsed. The charts show the trends of different sources in relative terms (market share), and at the bottom is a table showing the trends in both absolute terms (TWh of electricity generation) and relative terms (market share).

Interactive versions of all of the static charts below are included on the bottom of this article. They are much better than the static charts when viewed on a laptop, but they often don’t show well on a phone.

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Solar power market share on the UK grid grew from 0.4% in 2012 to 4.5% in 2020, from 1.3 TWh to 11.3 TWh.

Wind power market share on the UK grid grew from 3.9% in 2012 to 21.6% in 2020, from 12.4 TWh to 54.6 TWh.

Coal power market share on the UK grid dropped from 43% in 2012 to 1.7% in 2020, from 136.7 TWh to 4.4 TWh.

Electricity from gas has seen its market share grow on the UK grid from 26% in 2012 to a peak of 44% in 2016, and then drop to 37.4% in 2020. This corresponded to energy output of 82.7 TWh, 125.0 TWh, and  94.6 TWh, respectively.

Like in the US, nuclear power has remained fairly stable in this period of time, meandering from 20.7% in 2012 to 18.7% in 2020, and in absolute terms from 65.8 TWh to 47.3 TWh.

All together, renewable energy grew from 6% market share in 2012 to 35.4% in 2020. Solar and wind alone grew from 4.3% to 26%.

As noted at the top, the following are interactive versions of the charts shown above.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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