New figures recently released by the UK government show renewable energy accounts for more than 25% of electricity generated in the UK during the first quarter of the year. Onshore wind installations set a quarterly record high, providing 8.3% of the UK’s power and increasing by 20.2% over Q1 of 2016.
In total, renewable energy sources generated around 26.6% of the UK’s electricity from January to March, which is up 1% over last year’s numbers. Meanwhile, the output from coal declined from 15.8% of the energy total down to 11.3%. Quarter one of 2015 saw coal responsible for providing 30.8% of the UK’s power, meaning that the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources in the UK is accelerating at a significant pace.
Low-carbon sources in total, including nuclear power, are responsible for generating 45.6% of the UK’s electricity which is up to 44.4% from Q1 of 2016
The Executive Director of RenewableUK, Emma Pinchbeck, spoke about the accelerating trend of investment in renewable energy sources:
“Renewable energy is a mainstream technology, which is cheaper and more advanced than ever. Our innovative industries have matured to the point where we now reliably provide over 25% of the UK with clean, sustainable power. It’s great to see that onshore wind has set a new record, producing more electricity than ever at a time of year when we need it most.”
The UK’s Committee on Climate Change also released their “2017 Report to Parliament”, which examines actions being taken by the UK to combat climate change. Pinchbeck notes that while the CCC report correctly identifies the admirable strides the UK has made in reducing emissions and transitioning to renewable energy sources, it also calls upon the new government to ensure that emission levels continue to fall.
“The new Minister for Climate Change Claire Perry has already shown strong leadership by saying that she intends to unveil a bold and ambitious new Clean Growth Plan. We welcome her pro-active stance on this key issue,” said Pinchbeck.