Government’s energy bible highlights record-breaking renewable generation
30 July 2020
Posted by: Rob Norris
The latest annual report on energy generation in the UK highlights the record-breaking performance of renewables throughout 2019, with wind power playing a major role.
The Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) published today by the Department for Business, Industry and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), confirms that renewables provided a record 37.1% of the UK’s electricity last year, up from 33.1% in 2018. BEIS noted that 2019 was the first year in which renewables accounted for more than one third of total electricity generation, mainly due to increased onshore and offshore wind capacity. Wind alone generated a record 20% of UK electricity last year (10% from onshore wind and 10% from offshore wind).
Wind also set new records in the annual quantities of power it provided, with onshore and offshore each generating 32 terawatt hours (TWh). Renewables overall provided 121TWh. The total annual amount of electricity generated from all sources in 2019 was 325TWh.
Low carbon generation (renewables and nuclear) hit a record 54.4%, despite nuclear falling to 17.3% as a result of outages and maintenance according to BEIS. Gas generated 40.6% while coal fell to an all-time low of 2.1%
RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Melanie Onn said:
“At a time when so many things seem uncertain, the consistent rise of renewables, keeping the UK powered up, bringing billions in investment in new energy infrastructure and creating highly skilled jobs all over the country, is a terrific success story we can all be proud of.
“Today’s figures confirm just how far we’ve come in the revolution in power generation; in 2010 less than 7% of our electricity came from renewables – now it’s 37%. But we know that to tackle the existential threat of climate change, we need to decarbonise not just electricity, but also heating and transport, where progress has been glacial. We need innovative power sources like floating wind, wave and tidal power, renewable hydrogen and a massive expansion in battery storage to get us to net zero emissions as fast as possible – so there’s no time to rest on our laurels”.
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- BEIS annual Digest of UK Energy Statistics is available here.
- In 2018, wind provided 17.1% of the UK’s electricity (9.1% from onshore wind and 8% offshore) and renewables overall 33%. Low carbon generation (renewables and nuclear) reached 52.6%, with nuclear providing 19.5%. Gas fell to 39.5% and coal dropped to 5.1% in 2018.
- RenewableUK’s members are building our future energy system, powered by clean electricity. We bring them together to deliver that future faster; a future which is better for industry, billpayers, and the environment. We support over 400 member companies to ensure increasing amounts of renewable electricity are deployed across the UK and to access export markets all over the world. Our members are business leaders, technology innovators, and expert thinkers from right across industry.
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