According to the latest statistics published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, renewable energy contributed 15% towards the national grid last year, a rise of 30% overall.
The report shows a steady increase, with a 3.6% rise since 2012 – primarily from onshore and offshore wind farms.
Onshore wind created 32% of the total renewable output, while offshore created a further 21% – both combined contributing 7.9% towards the UK’s national grid.
This is also reflected in bioenergy capacity, which increased by 27% or 800 megawatts (MW) – primarily due to coal-fired power plants being transferred into biomass stations.
Solar PV and solar heat contributed 3.3% of the total renewable energy mix, across all sectors including transport and domestic heating.
Ed Davey, secretary of state for energy and climate change, said, “The government’s investment in renewable energy is paying off, renewable electricity has more than doubled in just four years – with around 15% of Britain’s electricity already coming from clean renewable sources like wind, solar and hydro.
He added, “This massive investment in green energy is accelerating, with 2013 a record year, with almost £8 billion invested across range of renewable technologies.
“Having a strong UK renewable sector helps to reduce our foreign imports of energy, improving our energy security, as well as helping us tackle climate change and creating new hi-tech green jobs. A green energy future that once seemed impossible for Britain is fast becoming a reality.”
However, the UK has faced turbulence regarding energy policy, with renewables in particular receiving less governmental support. A huge offshore wind farm project has also recently taken a turn for the worse as Centrica, owned by British Gas, has backed out of the £40m investment.
The UK renewable energy sector has however seen some signs of growth, with tidal developments in Cornwall that have the potential to make the UK an industry leader in the wave energy field.
Furthermore, the UK is also creating a clean energy partnership with India, which still remains one of the largest renewable energy markets in the world.
Photo source: Michael Mees via Flickr