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UK renewable energy generation fell 12.1% in Q2 2010

Renewable energy sources in the UK produced 4.72 TWh in the second quarter (Q2) of 2010, down 12.1% from the same period last year, according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) quarterly Energy Statistics.

Of the renewable energy sources, hydropower supply fell by 32.2% and wind by 11.3%. Total electricity supplied by all generators was down 3.3% and final electricity consumption fell 4%.

DECC’s Energy Statistics included for the first time statistics on the feed-in tariffs introduced on 1 April.

Feed-in tariff update

By the end of the quarter, 15.2 MW of renewable energy had been installed across 2771 installations under the feed-in tariff scheme. As the figures are based on ‘date of confirmation’, they include renewable energy schemes installed prior to 1 April, but after 15 July 2009.

98% of renewable energy was solar PV

Around 2700 installations – representing 98% of renewable energy schemes – were solar photovoltaics (PV), of which the majority were retrofitted sub-4 kW arrays on mainly domestic premises. However, due to the small size of the installations, they translate to only 44% of renewable energy capacity at 6.7 MW.

Hydropower saw four installations under the feed-in tariff system. These were larger, non-domestic schemes representing 3.3 MW – 22% of the total.

Wind power represented 35% of renewable energy capacity at 5.3 MW from 63 installations.

Of the 2771 renewable energy installations under the feed-in tariff system, 2730 were domestic projects – although these represent less than half of installed capacity. The remaining 41 non-domestic installations represented 54% of the overall installed renewable energy capacity at 8.3 MW.

Technology Number Capacity
  N % MW %
Photovoltaic 2704 97.6% 6.7 43.8%
Hydropower 4 0.1% 3.3 21.5%
Wind 63 2.3% 5.3 34.7%
Total 2771 100% 15.2 100%

Warning against cuts

Renewable energy company Ownergy, says the feed-in tariff scheme is on track to meet the first year targets of 100 MW of renewable energy.

Although pleased with the update of feed-in tariff eligible renewable energy systems, Chairman Philip Wolfe, warns against making cuts too early.

“…It is apparent that the scheme has a long way to go before we are in the enviable position of having to consider dampening enthusiasm through lower tariff rates as is happening in some countries in continental Europe. Despite the best efforts of the industry, awareness of the feed-in tariffs is still low and there are still several barriers to entry.

“If the Government believes that an early review of tariff levels is required, it could not be more mistaken. To do so would stop investment in its tracks and undermine confidence not just in all renewable energy schemes but in other sectors dependent on a consistent regulatory regime.

“It must also be stressed that the feed-in tariffs is paid for through a levy on electricity bills and is not from public expenditure. As such, it can make no contribution to reducing the public sector deficit.”

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