Renewables share of UK electricity generation was up by 35.5% in the second quarter of 2019 (Q2), according to the latest statistics released by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
According to their report which was published yesterday (September 26), the use of onshore wind generation rose by 13% and offshore wind increased by over 25% in Q2. However, this figure was still 30% lower than Q1 when average wind speeds were much higher.
Solar generation decreased by 0.3% which has been linked to the closure of the popular Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme which closed to new applicants in April 2019.
The FiT scheme was a government programme designed to promote the uptake of renewable and low-carbon electricity generation technologies. The government said that its replacement, the Smart Export Guarantee, will finally come into force in January 2020, eight months after the closure of the FiT.
The report also states that this was the first quarter since the 19th century where coal fell below 1% of the total generation, providing just 0.6% of the UK’s electricity between April and June.
Coal’s share of supply fell to a record low of just 0.2% in May after just 5 days of coal-fired generation on the national grid, this was the UK’s longest period without coal generation since the 1880s.
The largest increase among the other technologies was for plant biomass (mainly wood pellets) which increased by 8.6%.
The report also includes other energy trends and says that liquid biofuel consumption increased by 30%, from 462 million litres in 2018 Q2 compared to 599 million litres in 2019 Q2.
In Q2, liquid biofuels represented 2.8% of petrol and diesel consumed in road transport, a figure which is unchanged from Q1.
Renewables UK director of strategic communications Luke Clark said: ‘The latest official statistics show wind is leading the way in cleaning up the UK power systems.
‘This month’s landmark steps forward for offshore wind, with a record amount of new capacity secured at record low prices and a further round of development announced, means that we’ll see renewables reaching even higher levels in the next ten years.’
Environment Journal has contacted the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for a response.
In related news, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says that the world’s capacity to generate electricity from renewable sources has now overtaken coal.
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