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UK celebrates new renewable energy achievements in 2017

29 Mar 11:00 by Steve Walia

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The Government's renewable energy figures for 2017 are now out and show that the UK hit new records last year, producing 98.9 TWh of clean electricity, as a 29.4 percent share of all electricity generation in the country. 

The only energy production category to generate more electricity than renewable sources was natural gas.

Installed renewables capacity was at 40.5 GW by December, which is a 13 percent increase on 2016. The wind energy sector had a particularly good year, with onshore wind developments generating 28.7 TWh; an increase of 37 percent against 2016. Offshore wind turbines also saw a 27 percent increase at 20.9 TWh. Wind energy as a whole is now producing 15 percent of Britain's total electricity needs, according to RenewableUK.

Emma Pinchbeck, RenewableUK's executive director, said that the Government's annual figures showed that wind energy had another record-breaking year in the UK, with a move to a green and smart energy system now forging ahead with real commitment.

Bioenergy produced 31.2 TWh, solar generated 11.5 TWh and hydro energy 5.9TWh. Both solar and hydro energy saw 10 percent output gains compared to the previous 12 months.

In Scotland, the results were even more impressive, as 68 percent of the country's electrical consumption was derived from renewable technologies; a 14 percent increase against 2016. Scotland also enjoyed a 13 percent increase in total installed capacity at 10GW.

The figures will now be ratified but the provisional set seems to back-up Carbon Brief's recent figures which demonstrated that Britain's CO2 emissions were now on a par with those from 1890. Claire Perry, the climate change minister, said that the latest figures were excellent news and showed that the UK continued to enjoy its position as a world-leader in slashing carbon emissions whilst growing the economy.