Renewables were the UK's second biggest source of power in the second quarter of this year

Renewables accounted for quarter of UK energy Spring 2015

Renewable energy sources provided more than a quarter of the UK's electricity during Spring 2015, official figures show.

A combination of higher wind speeds, more installed solar panels and a 19.5 per cent increase in rainfall that resulted in record output at hydroelectric power stations all contributed to renewables accounting for 25.3 per cent of generation in the second quarter of 2015.

This was up from 16.7 per cent for the same period in 2014 and saw renewables overtake coal for the first time, which fell to generating just 20.5 per cent of the UK's power in the same period, with the conversion of a second unit of coal-fired power station Drax, North Yorkshire, to biomass contributing.

Industry body RenewableUK's chief executive Maria McCaffery said: "The new statistics show that Britain is relying increasingly on dependable renewable sources to keep the country powered up, with onshore and offshore wind playing the leading roles in our clean energy mix."

Renewables were the UK's second biggest source of power in the second quarter, between April and June, behind gas at 30 per cent of electricity generation. Despite a drop in nuclear output compared to the same period in 2014, the rise in renewables means low carbon technology's share of electricity generation rose to nearly half (46.8 per cent).

However, recent curbs in subsidies to solar and onshore wind announced by the government have dented investor confidence in renewables and McCaffery called for clearer signals from government that it was backing new projects.

"If ministers want to see good statistics like we've had today continuing into the years ahead, they have to knuckle down, listen to the high level of public support we enjoy and start making positive announcements on wind, wave and tidal energy," she said.

WWF-UK's head of energy and climate change Emma Pinchbeck said: "Renewables are no utopian fantasy - they are delivering here and now and could provide a far higher proportion of our energy mix.

"We know these businesses work. The issue now is whether they will grow. Ministers should jettison their ambivalence about wind and solar power and empower them to create more jobs and growth."

Recent articles

Info Message

Our sites use cookies to support some functionality, and to collect anonymous user data.

Learn more about IET cookies and how to control them