2012 was a strong year for the performance of renewable energy generation, mainly due to new renewable power projects coming on-stream, Government figures reveal . 11.3% of the UK’s electricity last year was generated from renewables overall, and 12.5% in the fourth quarter.
Much of this growth is due to new on- and offshore wind farms, in spite of lower than average wind speeds over the year. 2012 was also fairly dry, meaning less output from hydro. Biomass generation increased 17%, largely thanks to Tilbury’s conversion to biomass, and the capacity of solar PV increased 70%, up to 1.7GW. Total UK renewable power capacity now stands at 15.5GW.
“Renewables now generate more than 10% of our electricity on average. Compared to 2011, generation from onshore and offshore wind increased by 15% and 46% respectively, while solar PV capacity is up 70%. The conversion of Tilbury also shows what a big difference biomass can make, especially at a time when the Government is desperate to bring forward affordable, baseload, low carbon generation.
“It is a critical time for industry as the Energy Bill makes its way through Parliament. We look forward to working with Michael Fallon in his new role as Energy Minister, particularly in light of his work on the 2008 Planning and Energy Act, but a change of Ministers at this crucial time further complicates matters.” (Gaynor Hartnell, Chief Executive, REA)
. DECC: ‘Energy Trends and Prices statistical release: 28 March 2013’, 28th March 2013.