The Department for Energy and Climate Change has revealed that almost 25% of all electricity generated in the UK in 2015 came from renewable energy. This sees renewable energy now account for more of the UK’s electricity generation than coal, which fell to just 23%. Sources such as nuclear rose to 21% while gas accounted for 30%.
The UK had set a target for renewables to account for 30% of electricity generation by 2020 and looked as though they will hit that target. However, critics have said recent changes to Government policy will make it extremely difficult.
Within the increase in renewable energy, wind energy grew by 26%, solar grew by 86% and bioenergy grew by 28%. Off shore wind energy grew from 13.4TWh to 17.4TWh, which is an increase of 30% and onshore wind energy grew from 18.6TWh to 23TWh, which is an increase of 24%. These are some huge increases and it is believed it was due to a huge increase in capacity and stronger winds compared to the previous year.
It is believed that as more and more coal power plants are switched off to meet climate change regulations, the renewable energy sector will play a key role in producing energy for the UK.
Scotland exceeded their target of producing 50% of their electricity needs from renewable sources which actually accounted for 57%. However Scotland’s target of becoming the first nation to produce 100% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020 is in doubt. This is due to a change in Government policy, which Scotland says has made it very unattractive for investment in renewable energy.