UK renewable energy production reaches record high in 2018

By Erin Voegele | March 15, 2019

The U.K. Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has released provisional 2018 energy data that shows renewable energy production increased by 8.7 percent last year, with bioenergy output up by 7.2 percent.

According to the BEIS, natural gas accounted for 43.9 percent of electricity supplied in the U.K. last year, down from 44.8 percent in 2017. Electricity production from coal also fell, from 7.8 percent in 2017 to 6 percent in 2018. Nuclear accounted for 22.1 percent of electricity generation last year, down from 23.4 percent in 2017. Renewables accounted for a record-high 27.5 percent of electricity supplied in the U.K. during 2018, up from 23.5 percent the previous year.

The data shows low carbon generation in the U.K. accounted for a record 49.6 percent of supply, up from 46.9 percent in 2017. Generation from bioenergy, wind and solar were all up, which the government attributes to increased production capacity for all three technologies.

Primary energy production in the U.K. increased by 2.9 percent between 2017 and 2018, reaching 130.4 million metric tons of oil equivalent. The BEIS indicated this is the fourth successive annual increase, with energy production in 2018 at its highest level since 2011.

The BEIS is expected to release more detailed data in its Energy Trends report, scheduled for publication March 28.