Solar doubles share of renewable generation in 2014

9th April 2015

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Charles Thomas

The proportion of the UK's electricity coming from renewable generation rose to 19.2% in 2014, mainly due to increases in solar and offshore wind capacity, according to the latest government data.

The figures were revealed in provisional data for 2014 from the energy and climate change department (Decc). The figures show that renewable electricity generation reached 64.4 TWh last year, compared with 53.7 TWh in 2013, equivalent to a rise of 4.3 percentage points.

The increase was mainly due to increased solar and offshore wind capacity, Decc said. Solar PV accounted for 6.1% of renewable generation in 2014 compared with 3.8% in 2013, while the amount of electricity generated by offshore wind and onshore wind sites increased by 16% and by 8% respectively. The increase from wind was despite the fact that wind speeds were similar for both years, Decc said.

A fall in overall electricity generation due to reduced demand contributed around 0.3 percentage points to the increase in renewable share.

Decc figures come as the solar sector warned of an impending crisis after it was revealed that the two successful solar projects at the contracts for difference (CfD) auction in February will not go ahead because the £50/MWh strike price is around half the current cost of solar generation.

The renewables obligation (RO) is now closed to solar farms over 5MW, meaning that very few solar farms will be built next year, the Solar Trade Association (STA) said.

Leonie Greene, head of external affairs at the STA, said: “This confirmation shows that what everyone in the industry was saying was right: the £50/MWh bids wouldn’t get built. That no large solar farms will be built in the next year under either the RO or CfDs is a tragedy, as we predicted these types of projects could be cheaper than gas in just three years with stable policy support.”


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