Renewable electricity generation up 28% in the UK

Renewable electricity generation increased by 28% in 2013 to 52.8 terawatt-hours (TWh), up from the 41.3 TWh recorded in 2012, according to official figures.

Statistics released today by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), show that offshore and onshore wind, solar and bioenergy all recorded significant increases in 2013 from 2012.

Offshore wind generation rose by 45.8%, with onshore wind increasing by 36.4%, due to increased capacity, as well as higher wind speeds.

The figures showed that generation from bioenergy was up 22.8% due to increased capacity from conversions. Liquid biofuels represented 3.5% of petrol and diesel consumed in road transport in 2013, a 0.4 percentage point rise on the share in 2012.

Of the statistics, the only form of renewable energy that generated less electricity in 2013 from 2012 was hydro, which decreased by 10.7% due to lower rainfall in catchment areas.

Commenting on wind’s energy input, RenewableUK’s director of external affairs Jennifer Webber said: “By developing our wind resource we ease our reliance on costly imported foreign fuels and reduce the amount of polluting CO2 in our atmosphere.

“The UK has a choice – stay in hock to foreign powers for our energy or invest in secure, clean renewables and build tens of thousands of jobs for British workers,” added Webber.

As renewables generation increased, fossil fuel production fell, with coal, oil and gas all recording lower production levels in 2013 from the previous year.

In a significant fall, coal production was 25% lower in 2013 than in 2012 and at a record low. Though, coal imports were 10.1% higher and at their highest level since 2006.

Oil production was 8.8% lower than in 2012, the lowest annual production volume since DECC’s current reporting system began.

Meanwhile, natural gas production was 6.2% lower than in 2012 and at its lowest level since 1984.

Leigh Stringer

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