UK's green leaders welcome annual renewable energy uplift

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 28 Mar 2019

The Humber's largest offshore wind investor, Ørsted, has welcomed the 4 per cent increase in renewable energy generation reported year-on-year.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's Energy Trends publication revealed a 3.9 per cent rise on 2017's figure to 33.3 per cent. The UK’s carbon emissions continued to fall in 2018, but the pace of reduction is slowing down.

Matthew Wright, UK managing director at Ørsted, said: “It’s encouraging that renewable electricity is now providing a third of total generation in the UK and carbon emissions continue to fall – but it’s concerning to see the pace of these reductions slowing down.

“We urgently need to take further action to tackle climate change, and we cannot afford to drop the ball in our mission to build a clean and affordable energy future in the UK. Continuing to deploy renewable energy at scale is essential, and the recent publication of a Sector Deal for offshore wind is exactly the type of action we need.”

Read more: Standards face a sprint to keep up with the pace of the offshore wind evolution

A recent report from the International Energy Agency stated that worldwide energy-related carbon dioxide emissions increased 1.7 per cent over 2017 – the highest level on record.

Earlier this month, the UK Government published the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, a transformative partnership that will put UK offshore wind at the forefront of the global shift to clean growth.

Humber Renewables Awards 2019

In the timeframe analysed, Race Bank offshore wind farm was fully commissioned, with Orsted now powering up Hornsea One as turbine after turbine is installed. It recently saw Grimsby's total installed capacity pass 1.5GW, with a clear path to 8GW now laid out. 

The provisional statistics show that wind provided a record 17.1 per cent of the UK’s electricity last year (9.1 per cent from onshore wind and 8 per cent from offshore wind, both new annual records). Low carbon generation - renewables and nuclear - reached a record  52.8 per cent, with gas generating 39.4 per cent, and coal generation dropped to a record annual low of 5 per cent.

In 2017, wind provided 14.8 per cent of the UK’s electricity (8.6 per cent from onshore wind and 6.2 per cent from offshore wind).

Read more: Sector deal detail to emerge as Offshore Wind Connections 2019 launches

RenewableUK’s deputy chief executive Emma Pinchbeck, pictured right,  said: “These record-breaking figures demonstrate the unstoppable momentum for renewables, with spectacular global cost reductions in onshore and offshore wind, as well as battery storage.

“Wind power in the UK is driving a transformation in energy, to clean, affordable and flexible power that works hand in hand with exciting technologies of the future like storage and electric vehicles.

“We need Government to fully recognise that renewables are the future in our energy policy - from fair markets for flexible power and innovation funding for new technologies, to removing the obstacles in the way of our cheapest form of generation: onshore wind." 

BEIS also released statistics today covering the final three months of 2018, showing that renewables generated a quarterly record  of 37.1 per cent of the UK’s electricity from October to December. The report notes that this was “driven by record generation from wind”. Overall, wind generated 21.5 per cent of UK electricity in Q4.

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