25 July 2013
Government figures released today in the annual Digest of UK Energy Statistics show that electricity production from renewable energy sources in 2012 was up by almost 20% on the previous year and accounted for over 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. 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.
Today’s figures come at a crucial time for the wind industry, coming soon after the publication of the draft Electricity Market Reform Delivery Plan, and as we look 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.”