Renewable Energy Surpasses Coal In New Official UK Electricity Statistics

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Sustainability by Kyle MacKenzie via Flickr

The Government’s new annual energy statistics show that renewable energy sources are replacing coal as mainstream technologies generating power for British homes, offices and factories.

Today’s figures confirm that 25% of the UK’s electricity was generated from renewables last year – an increase of 29% on 2014. Nearly half of this (48%) came from wind power alone. 1 in 8 units of electricity generated in the UK came from wind.

In comparison, coal generated 22% of the country’s electricity – down from 30% in 2014.

RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Maf Smith said: “The Government took the right decision when it announced the phasing out of coal. Now we can see renewable energy filling the gap, replacing old technology with new. 2015 was the first year that renewables outperformed coal.

“A quarter of Britain’s power is now coming from wind, wave and tidal power and other renewable energy sources. Renewables are now part of our energy mainstream, helping us modernise the way we keep the lights on by building new infrastructure for the generations to come.”

The contribution of offshore wind grew by 30% in 2015, while onshore wind grew by 23%. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which published the figures, said this was due to increases in capacity, load factors and higher wind speeds.

The Government’s latest poll on the public’s views on energy, the Public Attitudes Tracking Survey, was also published today. It showed that 76% of people support renewable energy. 70% of people also said renewable projects provide economic benefits to the UK.

Responding to the news that 24.6% of UK electricity came from renewables in 2015, up 5.5% on 2014, Good Energy chief executive Juliet Davenport OBE said: “The idea that renewables are an unimportant part of our energy mix is now firmly a myth. They are leading the way when it comes to making the UK more energy secure in the future

“With renewables by far the most popular choice for the British public, this new government needs to look at this success and take the lead in keeping us on the path to decarbonisation.”