Renewable energy breaks generation record

Official figures show renewables are an “an integral part of our energy mix”

Renewable energy accounted for almost 30% of all the electricity generated in the UK between April and June, according to the latest government figures.

Statistics published yesterday in the latest energy trends report by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) shows a record 29.8 per cent was generated by renewable energy sources in the second quarter of 2017.

The figure beats the previous quarterly record of 26.9 per cent, which was for the first three months of this year.

It was also up 4.4 percentage points on the share for April to June last year.

According to the figures, renewable electricity generation was 22.5 TWh from April to June.

In the second three months of this year, electricity generated from onshore wind increased by 50 per cent, from 4.0 TWh in the same time period last year to 6.0 TWh, with generation from offshore wind up by 22 per cent to 4.0 TWh.

Hydro generation fell by 12.4 per cent on a year earlier to 0.8 TWh, mainly due to lower average rainfall, while at the end of June, solar PV represented one-third of all renewable capacity, with 12.5GW.

Total renewable electricity capacity was 38GW at the end of June, which represents a 13.2 per cent increase (4.4 GW) on a year earlier.

The chief executive of Energy UK, Lawrence Slade, said the figures show renewable energy is now “an integral part of our energy mix”.

“As the recent offshore wind auction shows, the cost of renewables is falling as they play an increasing role in powering our homes and businesses, and we deliver low carbon economy at the lowest cost to consumers,’ said Slade.

While the executive director of RenewableUK, Emma Pinchbeck, said the figures show onshore wind is the “cheapest form of new power plant”.

“When the government holds the next set of competitive auctions for contracts to generate electricity, low-cost onshore wind deserves the chance to compete,” added Pinchbeck.