UK renewables bask in record 2019
26th March 2020 | Commercial Energy
Renewable energy generated a record 37% of the UK’s electricity demand in 2019, with wind contributing more than half of the amount, according to new statistics released by the UK government. The annual figures, published in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s quarterly Energy Trends report, reveal wind provided a record 20% of the UK’s power last year.
Onshore and offshore wind farms contributed 9.9% of this amount. Capacity at the Hornsea One offshore wind farm gradually increased over the year and stood at 1218MWh by the end of 2019, making it the largest offshore wind farm in the world, the BEIS analysis noted. Wind also generated record annual quantities of power, with onshore and offshore wind providing 32 terawatt hours (TWh), while the total amount of electricity generation from all sources reached 324 TWh.
Last year also saw record electricity generation from bioenergy at 36.6 TWh, up 5.2% on the 34.8 TWh generated in 2018. The reopening of the Lynemouth power station as a biomass fuelled plant in late 2018 boosted output. In 2019 solar generated 12.7TWh of electricity, down 1.4% from 12.9TWh in 2018 due in part to a reduction in average sunlight hours, whereas 2018 had been a record breaking year for solar generation.
Hydro generation also rose by 8.5% on 2018, which had been a relatively low year. Generation was at a similar level to that of 2017 (6 TWh compared to 5.9 TWh). Overall, renewable energy delivered 119.3 TWh in 2019, up from 110 TWh the year previously. Installed capacity rose to 47.7 GW at the end of the year, up 3GW or 6.9% on 2018. BEIS said this was the smallest rise since 2010.
Onshore wind capacity stood at 14.2 GW, with offshore accounting for 9.7 GW, at the end of last year, while solar capacity reached over 13.6 GW.
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