UK government releases 2017 renewable energy statistics

By Erin Voegele | August 16, 2018

The U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recently released updated energy statistics, reporting that electricity generation from renewable sources increased by 19 percent between 2016 and 2017, reaching 99.3 terawatt hours (TWh).

Overall in 2017, 10.2 percent of total U.K. energy consumption came from renewable sources, up from 9.2 percent in 2016. Renewable electricity represented 27.9 percent of total generation, renewable heat reached 7.7 percent of overall heat, and renewables in transport reached 4.6 percent.

Generation from bioenergy and waste increased by 6 percent from 2016 to 2017, reaching 31.9 TWh. Bioenergy and waste capacity increased by 5.1 percent, reaching 6 GW. Of this increase, 69 percent was from plant biomass, with 36 percent from energy-from-waste, and 22 percent from anaerobic digestion.

Generation from plant biomass grew by 6.6 percent or 1.2 TWh, reaching 20.1 TWh in 2017. The growth is attributed to a 7.1 percent increase in capacity. New stations include 20.2 MW Mersey Bioenergy Widnes Biomass CHP, 40 MW Margam REP, 14.37 MW Mepalchp, and 17.32 MW Liberty Steel Lochaber. The load factor for plant biomass generation facilities was 79 percent.

Anaerobic digestion generation increased by 19 percent, reaching 2.5 TWh. Anaerobic digestion capacity also increased by 7.9 as a result of 93 new sites being identified. Load factors for anaerobic digestion facilities reached 63.2 percent.

Energy from waste generation increased by 24 percent, reaching 3.4 TWh, while capacity increased by 6.1 percent. The load factor for these facilities was 37.2 percent.

Generation from landfill gas fell by 8.9 percent to 4.3 TWh.

Animal biomass generation and capacity were largely unchanged from 2016 to 2017, with 06 TWh of generation and 0.1 GW of capacity.

Renewable heat generation increased by 3.6 percent last year, reaching 5,222 kilotonne of oil equivalent (ktoe). Of that increase, 83 percent was from plant biomass. Domestic wood combustion accounted for the largest share of renewable heat, at 40 percent.