UK renewable energy generation sets new record

By Erin Voegele | July 06, 2018

The U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has released first quarter 2018 energy statistics, reporting that the renewables’ share of electricity generation increased to a record high of 30.1 percent during the three-month period, up from 27 percent during the first quarter of 2017.

Renewable electricity generation also set a record during the first quarter of this year, reaching 27.9 terawatt hours (TWh), up 10.2 percent when compared to the same period of last year. Generation from bioenergy, including cofiring, decreased by 18.3 percent, falling to 7.29 TWh. The BEIS said decreased generation from plant biomass, landfill gas and biodegradable waste was partly offset by an increase in generation from waste. The decrease is also partially attributed to an outage at Drax. The BEIS noted that cofiring with fossil fuels has ceased.

Renewable electricity capacity grew to a record 41.9 GW during the first quarter, up 11.2 percent from the first quarter of 2017.  Bioenergy accounted for 15 percent of that capacity. Landfill gas capacity reached 1,066 MW, with sewage sludge digestion capacity at 245 MW, energy from waste at 1,118 MW, non-anaerobic digestion animal biomass at 129 MW, anaerobic digestion at 422 MW and plant biomass at 3,161 MW.

Bioenergy accounted for approximately 29 percent of renewables generation during the quarter. Onshore wind, offshore wind, solar photovoltaic and hydro accounted for 35 percent, 28 percent, 5.3 percent, and 5 percent, respectively.