Record-breaking performance of renewables

The latest report on energy generation in the UK reveals a record-breaking contribution by renewables throughout 2019, with over a third of electrical energy coming from green sources.

The Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) published by the Department for Business, Industry and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), confirms that renewables provided a record 37.1 per cent of the UK’s electricity last year, up from 33.1 per cent in 2018.

BEIS noted that 2019 was the first year in which renewables accounted for more than one third of total electricity generation, mainly due to increased onshore and offshore wind capacity. Wind alone generated a record 20 per cent of UK electricity last year (split equally between onshore and offshore production).

In 2019, UK energy production was down 0.2 per cent due to reduced output from gas and nuclear, and generation from coal fell by 59 per cent.

RenewableUK’s deputy chief executive Melanie Onn said: “At a time when so many things seem uncertain, the consistent rise of renewables, keeping the UK powered up, bringing billions in investment in new energy infrastructure and creating highly skilled jobs all over the country, is a terrific success story we can all be proud of. Today’s figures confirm just how far we’ve come in the revolution in power generation; in 2010 less than 7 per cent of our electricity came from renewables – now it’s 37 per cent.”

Overall, fossil fuels still remain a dominant source of energy use, accounting for 78.3 per cent of energy supply, and in particular heating and transport remain major carbon emitters, areas that are moving in the right direction, but at a slower pace that might be desirable.

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