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UK renewables up 43%

Heavy rain and high winds boost 1st quarter generation

UK renewables up 43% image

Electricity generated in the UK from renewables jumped 43% in the first quarter of this year compared to 2013, according to new government figures.

Green sources increased to a total of 18.1TWh in the first three months of 2014 thanks in part to the heavy rain and high winds recorded over the period, DECC's quarterly energy trends figures show.

Renewables' share of total generation in the first quarter was a record 19.4%, with capacity up 15.3% year on year to 20.8GW. The rise in renewables contrasted with a decline across the board in coal, nuclear and gas fired power stations.

Hydro produced the largest increase in generation of 77.7% to a record 2.2TWh. DECC says rainfall recorded in the main hydro areas over the period was double what it was a year ago.

Onshore wind rose by 62.1% to 6.65TWh, while offshore wind rose by 53.1% to 4.37TWh.

There was also a 6.3% increase in bio-energy to 4.55TWh. Much of this was a result of the conversion of Ironbridge and Drax power stations, which had a knock-on effect of reducing electricity generated from co-firing by 73%.

Electricity generated from solar PV, wave and tidal projects came in at 0.29TWh, a rise of 75.8%.

The statistics also showed the amount of electricity generated from renewables across the whole of last year was 53,667GWh, a 30% increase across the year.

In Scotland, renewables accounted for 46.5% of electricity consumed within the country. Energy minister Fergus Ewing said this shows Scotland is still on track to meet its target of 50% from renewables by 2015.

He added that said hydro could account for a quarter of Scotland's generating capacity within the next decade.

RenewableUK director of external affairs Jennifer Webber said: “Once again, wind delivered strongly for the UK in the first quarter of the year – when we need power most – providing nearly 12% of all our electricity.

“Onshore wind is delivering today, and it’s deeply illogical to talk about limiting its potential. Without the strong performance of wind last year, the Government would have been even further behind its energy targets. That’s why we need to ensure that there’s continued investment in both onshore and offshore wind moving forward.”

Image: offshore wind generation was up 53.1% in the 1st quarter (reNews)


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