UK renewable energy percentage 2018
There’s good news for UK renewable energy percentage in 2018!
Earlier this year, we reported how wind power generated 14 gigawatts of electricity for the first time, making up nearly 37% of the UK’s energy needs. The country also used more than two days without using any coal-fired power. This was the first time this has happened in more than a century.
According to EnAppSys, an energy market analyst, the second quarter of 2018 saw 28.1% of the UK’s energy being generated by renewable energy sources. This figure is in sharp contrast to the 5.9% generated in renewables in Q2 of 2010.
The new UK renewable energy percentage (wind and solar) record can be attributed to warm weather and high winds this season.
How was this renewable energy generated?
- Wind farms: Continued to provide the UK’s highest renewable energy percentage. 9.5 terawatt hours (TWh) of power were produced by wind farms.
- Solar farms: The record UK renewable energy percentage was also made up fro solar farms, which produced 5.2 TWh of energy. Solar farm energy was boosted by spring and summer’s longer daylight hours as well as the hot conditions in June.
Where does most of the UK’s energy come from?
Gas continues to be the main source of the UK’s power, with about 40.7% of the UK’s energy in Q2 2018 coming from gas-fired plants. Coal, on the other hand, produced only 1 TWh (1% of the overall power generation) due to high carbon prices. And for the first time, the UK has powered over 1,000 hours of energy without the use of coal.
- 40.7%: Gas-fired power stations
- 28.1%: Renewables
- 22.5%: Nuclear plants
- 1.3%: Coal-fired power stations
- 7.4%: Electricity imports
Why the increase in the UK renewable energy percentage generation?
- New large offshore wind farms added significant levels of new wind capacity.
- More solar installations.
- Summer 2018 has been the fifth sunniest on record.
- Higher wind speeds than 2017.
The UK plans to phase out coal entirely by 2025, and it looks like they are well on their way to doing so! In the meantime, the UK renewable energy percentage is expected to grow from about 29% of electricity generation in 2017 to 75% by 2030.
Renewable Energy UK Update
Renewable energy capacity in the UK has surpassed fossil fuels. With the closing of coal-fired power plants, there are only six active coal-fired power plants left in the UK. The closures have reduced coal capacity by 25%.
So, yes, the proportion of renewable energy in the UK is increasing, but this cannot be viewed in isolation. The increased proportion can also be attributed to a decline in fossil fuel generation, leading to uncertainty in the UK power market.