British renewables power ahead

The Government has hailed the progress of the renewable energy industry in the UK, describing it as a "fantastic achievement".

According to the 2012 update to the Renewable Energy Roadmap published last week by Energy Secretary Edward Davey, from July 2011 to July 2012 there was a 27% increase in overall renewable electricity generated.

Now more than 10% of all electricity generated is coming from renewables.

In addition, there was a 40% increase over the same period in renewable electricity capacity.

Wind power saw a particularly lucrative period with a 60% increase of offshore wind capacity to 2.5 gigawatts and there was also a five-fold increase in solar PV capacity.

Davey said: “Renewable energy is increasingly powering the UK’s grid and the economy too.

“It’s a fantastic achievement that more than 10% of our power now comes from renewables, given the point from which we started.

“Right now, getting new infrastructure investment into the economy is crucial to driving growth and supporting jobs across the country. I am determined that we get ahead in the global race on renewables and build on the big-money investments we’ve seen this year”.

The Government claims that the Roadmap is evidence that the UK is on track to meeting its first interim target on the way to the European target to source 15% of all energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The Roadmap also demonstrates that the costs of renewable energy technologies have perceptibly fallen for example; the cost of solar PV has fallen by 50%.

Examples of renewable energy investment across the UK include in the south east where Viridor has begun construction of a £205m energy from waste plant, that will create 40 permanent jobs and in the West Midlands Forkers ltd has won £9.2m in contracts for onshore wind farm design and construction.

Conor McGlone

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