Renewable energy now contributes 8.6% of the UK’s electricity supply. Wind power alone, rose almost 37% due to increased capacity, according to the latest quarterly report from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
Overall, coal and other solid fuel consumption rose 13.4%, oil by 0.5%, whereas gas consumption fell 3.6% and primary electricity consumption fell 18.5%. Total energy consumption rose 0.3% to 44.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent.
Alex Murley, Head of Technical Affairs at RenewableUK, says: “[The] results have two important implications: we are now within reach of 10% of electricity from renewables, having had around 2% a decade ago. The renewables industry has managed to deliver a fivefold increase in actual units delivered to consumers since 2001.
“Secondly, this gives us confidence that, with the right policy support, we can deliver on our 2020 targets. There are no technological barriers to having a third of our electricity from renewables in the next 10 years – it is perfectly doable.”
Currently, the UK has 8617 MW of wind capacity under construction or with planning permits scheduled to go online within the next 24-36 months. Combined with the almost 5.2 GW of operational capacity, this could provide 37 TWh a year.
Kevin Parslow, CEO of Evance Wind, adds: “It comes as welcome, but unsurprising news that wind is leading the UK’s renewable energy generation, according to latest figures from DECC. These statistics further cement the fact that wind will be the saving grace for UK’s renewable energy targets. After all, we’re not famous for our year round glorious sunshine.
“Around 40% of Europe’s wind energy passes through the UK, making it a prime location for harnessing wind power and generating energy for the country. However, it’s important to note that it’s not just about capturing wind power on an industrial level. People up and down the country are helping to boost the UK’s renewable energy production by investing in small wind turbines.
“As more people understand the renewable energy potential in wind and want to invest, 2011 may well be a year for a greener, more energy efficient Britain.”