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Renewable Energy Had a Record Year in the UK

26 Mar 17:00 by Steve Walia

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Official government figures for last year's energy usage show that the UK met 37% of its total demand from renewables. Of this figure, more than 50% of the total was provided by wind power.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy produced its figures in the quarterly Energy Trends report and showed that wind energy was able to meet 20% of Britain's needs in 2019 - a new record. This was shared equally by onshore and offshore wind developments.

The world's largest wind farm is now Hornsea One, which has grown its capacity to a whopping 1218MW. Wind energy produced 32 TWh. Total energy generated from all power sources hit 324 TWh.

Other types of renewable energy experienced their own records, such as bio-energy, which was up 5.2pc to 36TWh compared to 2018. Output in the field was boosted by the conversion and reopening of Lynemouth power station, which now operates on biomass rather than coal.

Solar energy was down slightly, however, from 12.9 TWh in 2019 to 12.7 TWh. This was partly due to fewer hours of sunlight, as 2018 was a record-breaking year for sunny days and solar generation.

Another renewable energy technology on the rise was hydro, growing by 8.5% compared to 2018.

Installed capacity rose by nearly 7% overall, and clean power generated 119 TWh in 2019, against 110 TWh in 2018.

Melanie Onn, the deputy CEO of RenewableUK, said that the new record-busting figures demonstrated that the country's energy ecosystem was transforming entirely, with renewable energy being placed at its heart as Britain moved away from fossil fuels and towards a carbon-free economy.

She added that further innovation in the field, combined with supportive government measures to take renewable energy further, would see the industry continue to grow.