Government’s annual “energy bible” highlights record wind power output
31 July 2018
The Government’s latest statistics show that renewable energy is consolidating its central role as a mainstream power source for homes, offices and factories.
The figures published in the energy sector’s “bible”, the Digest of UK Energy Statistics, confirm definitively that 29.3 percent of the UK’s electricity was generated from renewables in 2017– up from 24.5 percent in 2016. Half of this came from wind alone, which provided 14.8 percent of the UK’s power (8.6 percent from onshore wind and 6.2 percent from offshore) – up from 11 percent in 2016.
The publication also confirms that the carbon intensity of the UK’s power supply has fallen to record low levels. On average, a kilowatt hour of electricity generated last year produced 225 grams of C02, down from 483g in 2012. This reduction has been driven by a huge reduction in our use of coal and the rapid growth of zero carbon renewables.
RenewableUK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck said: “These record figures demonstrate how fast renewable energy is transforming the way we generate power to create an energy system fit for the future. This is a radical shift, and we will see ever more low-cost renewables meeting flexible demand from homes, electric vehicles and new manufacturing processes and industries.”
“It’s great to see that the UK’s cheapest power source, onshore wind, is making such a significant contribution to the nation’s power needs. So it’s baffling that Government is still excluding new onshore wind projects from the market place. Opinion polls show that two-thirds of people think Ministers should change their current policy and allow onshore wind to go ahead where it has local support, and most Conservative voters agree with them”.
The contribution of onshore wind grew by 39 percent in 2017, while offshore wind grew by 27 percent. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which published the figures, said this was due to increases in capacity, greater load factors and higher wind speeds.