UK bioenergy production up in second quarter of 2018

By Erin Voegele | October 03, 2018

New data released by the U.K. government shows renewables accounted for a record 31.7 percent of the country’s electricity generation during the second quarter of 2018 while generation from coal fell to a record low.

The U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy released second quarter energy statistics on Sept. 27. That data shows total energy production was down 2.1 percent when compared to the second quarter of 2017. Total primarily energy consumption for energy uses fell by 1.3 percent over the same period.

According to the BEIS, renewable electricity generation in the U.K. reached 24.3 terawatt hours (TWh) during the second quarter, up 3 percent when compared to the same period of last year. Renewable electricity capacity reached 42.2 gigawatts (GW) by the end of the second quarter, up 10 percent from the same period of 2017.

Bioenergy announced for 11.1 percent of total U.K. electricity generation during the second quarter. Total renewables accounted for 31.7 percent.

Bioenergy also accounted for the largest share of renewables generation during the second quarter, at 35 percent. Onshore wind, offshore wind, solar photovoltaics, and hydro accounted for 22 percent, 20 percent, 19 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.

Generation from bioenergy was up 8.9 percent during the second quarter, reaching approximately 8.5 TWh, despite a fall in generation from landfill gas. Generation from plant biomass (wood) increased by 12 percent, reaching 5.5 TWh due to increased capacity. The data also shows generation from biodegradable waste increased 12 percent, while animal biomass was up 15 percent, although those two categories account for only a small fraction of the U.K.’s bioenergy generation.

Bioenergy capacity increased by 257 MW between the second quarters of 2017 and 2018. As of the second quarter, the U.K. had 3,296 MW of plant biomass capacity in place, along with 1,067 MW of landfill gas capacity, 246 MW of sewage sludge digestion capacity, 1,128 MW of energy-from-waste capacity, 129 MW of non-anaerobic digestion animal biomass capacity, 412 MW of anaerobic digestion capacity, and 11 MW of cofiring capacity.