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Renewable energy outperforms coal in official UK electricity statistics

29 July 2016

The Government’s new annual energy statistics show that renewable energy sources are replacing coal as mainstream technologies generating power for British homes, offices and factories.

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The figures confirm that 25 percent of the UK’s electricity was generated from renewables last year – an increase of 29 percent on 2014. Nearly half of this (48 percent) came from wind power alone. One in eight units of electricity generated in the UK came from wind. 

In comparison, coal generated 22 percent of the country’s electricity – down from 30 percent in 2014.

RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Maf Smith said: “The Government took the right decision when it announced the phasing out of coal. Now we can see renewable energy filling the gap, replacing old technology with new. 2015 was the first year that renewables outperformed coal. 

“A quarter of Britain’s power is now coming from wind, wave and tidal power and other renewable energy sources. Renewables are now part of our energy mainstream, helping us modernise the way we keep the lights on by building new infrastructure for the generations to come”.

The contribution of offshore wind grew by 30 percent in 2015, while onshore wind grew by 23 percent. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which published the figures, said this was due to increases in capacity, load factors and higher wind speeds.
The Government’s latest poll on the public’s views on energy, the Public Attitudes Tracking Survey, was also published. It showed that 76 percent of people support renewable energy. 70 percent of people also said renewable projects provide economic benefits to the UK.

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