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Saturday 24 March 2018
24 March 2018 - NEWS UPDATE
Renewable Energy

Wind the key to 20% rise in UK electricity from renewable energy sources

Electricity production from renewable energy sources in 2012 was up by almost 20% on the previous year and accounted for more than 11% of all electricity generated in the year. This increase has predominately been driven by increases in electricity generation from both onshore and offshore wind.


Wind power at Delebole

Critically the figures also show that the load factor for offshore wind was 33.7%, compared to Gas which had a load factor of 30.4%, confirming the ever increasing importance of offshore wind technology in our electricity mix.

According to Government figures released today in the annual Digest of UK Energy Statistics:

* Primary energy production fell by 10.7 per cent, on a year earlier, with further declines in oil and gas production

* Final energy consumption rose by 1.7 per cent, reflecting the colder weather in 2012. On a temperature adjusted basis, energy consumption was down 0.7 percent continuing the downward trend of the last eight years.

* Electricity generated from renewable sources in the UK in 2012 increased by 19 per cent on a year earlier, and accounted for 11.3 per cent of total UK electricity generation, up from 9.4 per cent in 2011. Total renewables, as measured by the 2009 EU Renewables Directive, accounted for 4.1 per cent of energy consumption in 2012, up from 3.8 per cent in 2011.

* In 2012, the proportion of UK electricity generated from renewables was 11.3 per cent. On the basis of the policy measurement of the contribution of renewables eligible under the Renewables Obligation to UK electricity sales, 2012 showed a 1.2 percentage point increase, with the percentage increasing from 9.4 per cent in 2011 to reach 10.6 per cent in 2012.

* Installed electrical generating capacity of renewable sources rose by 27 per cent in 2012, mainly as a result of a 27 per cent increase in onshore wind capacity, 63 per cent increase in offshore wind capacity, and solar photovoltaic capacity increasing by 71 per cent (due to high uptake of Feed in Tariffs).

* In 2012, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) capacity stood at 6,136 MWe, an increase of 2.8 per cent on 2011.

* In 2012 the energy industries' accounted for 3.5 per cent of GDP

Today's figures come at a crucial time for the renewable energy industry, being soon after the publication of the draft Electricity Market Reform Delivery Plan, and the wind energy industry is  looking forward to the forthcoming publication of the Government's Industrial Strategy for offshore wind, which will set out the Government's plan for ensuring that the UK reaps the economic benefits of the expansion in this sector.

Maf Smith, Deputy Chief Executive of RenewableUK said: "These figures confirm the recent trends we have seen that show renewables, and especially wind, playing an ever-increasing role in our electricity generation. They come at the end of a busy period for wind, which has seen the largest offshore wind farm in the world opened at London Array, as well as number of major onshore sites going live.

"We have made some remarkable progress over recent years, and this is another shot in the arm for the renewables sector. With wind generating around half of electricity from renewables we are leading the charge in the race to decarbonise our electricity market.

"These figures also show that as a country we are becoming increasingly dependent on expensive imported fossil fuels, with a rise to over 40% in the amount we depend on fossil fuels brought in from abroad. This yet again shows the need to continue to build on the success we have seen in renewables as a way of helping us achieve energy independence."

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