The new UK government’s energy statistics report has shown that renewables share of electricity generation in 2017 reached a record figure of 29.4% – second only to that of gas.
Rising from the contribution of 25% recorded in 2016, the renewable electricity generation in the UK was 98.9TWh in 2017 – a record high, and up nearly a fifth or 18.8%, due to increased capacity and higher wind speeds, according to the government figures.
The renewable energy capacity in the UK increased by 13.3% on a year earlier, with the addition of 4.8GW newly installed capacity to reach a total of 40.5GW at the end of 2017.
The capacity of the UK’s shoreline wave and tidal technologies grew from 13MW in 2016, to 18MW in 2017 – an increase of 36.4%.
In line with the increased capacity, the share of electricity produced by tidal and wave in 2017 also rose to reach a total of 4GWh, the report reveals.
In 2017, the offshore wind generation rose by 27% to hit 20.9TWh, or 6.2% of the UK’s entire electricity demand.
Scotland as renewable energy powerhouse
The amount of power produced by Scotland’s renewable energy industry grew by 26% between 2016 and 2017.
Almost 25TWh – enough to power all Scotland’s homes more than twice over – were produced by the country’s fleet of wind, hydro, solar, biomass, tidal and green gas generators in 2017.
It is estimated that the equivalent of 68.1% of gross electricity consumption came from renewable sources in Scotland, up 14.1% from 54% recorded in 2016.
New UK government figures also show Scotland is punching above its weight in renewable energy generation, with 25% of all UK renewable electricity produced north of the border last year.
Claire Mack, Chief Executive of industry body Scottish Renewables, said: “These figures show Scotland as a renewable energy powerhouse, producing more electricity than ever and transferring much of it to markets in the rest of Great Britain, all the time reducing carbon emissions from our power sector.”
Welcoming the figures, Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse, said: “Despite damaging policy changes from the UK Government that will soon come into full effect, we continue to harness, galvanize and support Scotland’s renewables potential, both in generation and infrastructure.
“Scotland’s Energy Strategy recognizes and builds on our achievements to date and on our country’s capacity for innovation. Renewable energy will play a hugely significant role in powering Scotland’s future and through the strategy we want to ensure the correct strategic decisions are taken to support this much valued sector of Scotland’s economy as it goes from strength to strength.”