Electricity from renewables at record levels

25th September 2015


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  • Mitigation ,
  • Generation ,
  • Fossil fuels

Author

Adam Leaver

The share of UK electricity generated by renewables reached a record in the second quarter of 2015, more than doubling its contribution over the past three years, according to the latest statistics from Decc.

From the start of April to the end of June, renewables generated 25.3% renewables of UK electricity, surpassing for the first time the amount generated by coal (20.5%). During the three-month period, nuclear power and gas generated 21.5% and 30.2% of electricity production respectively.

Decc reports that the increase in electricity from renewable sources is due to a 26% increase in capacity and favourable weather conditions, such as high wind speeds, increased rainfall and more sun hours, which contributed to a combined increase in primary electricity output from wind turbines, hydro schemes and solar PV of 69% compared with the second quarter of 2014.

The supply of bioenergy increased by 26.2% over the same period, mainly due to the conversion from coal to biomass of a second unit at the Drax power station. Overall, renewable electricity generation in the UK rose by 51.4% in the second quarter of 2015 compared with the same period last year.

Production of coal and other solid fuels was 14.8% lower in the second quarter of 2015 than the corresponding quarter in 2014, due to the closure of some deep and surface mining operations. Over the same period, the overall share of low-carbon electricity generation increased by 7.9% to 46.8%, due entirely to the rise in renewables capacity.

Final energy consumption in the second quarter of 2015 was 2.9% higher than in the corresponding period in 2014, with domestic consumption 10.8% higher, which Decc says is largely due to seasonal temperatures being 1.20C lower in 2015 than in 2014. On a temperature-adjusted basis, however, final energy consumption was down 2%, with falls in all sectors except transport, which rose by 1.6%.

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