UK broke renewable energy generation record in 2019, latest BEIS figures show
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published its latest annual energy statistics, revealing that a record 37.1% of the electricity generated in the UK in 2019 was renewable.
Published today (30 July), the Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) serves as the Government’s energy “bible”, documenting figures on energy production, consumption, demand, imports and exports. The latest edition covers the 2019 calendar year.
It reveals that 37.1% of the electricity generated in the UK in 2019 was renewable, up from 33.1% in 2018. BEIS attributes this growth in proportion to coal plants coming offline ahead of the 2024 deadline and to the rapid expansion of the nation’s offshore wind sector. Of the total electricity generated, a record 20% was attributable to wind – 10% to offshore and 10% to onshore.
The combined output of domestic wind, solar and hydropower was up 11% year-on-year, while bioenergy output was also up by 1.6%. At the same time, the overall output of the UK’s fossil fuel sector decreased slightly (0.3%), with coal closures and natural gas scale-backs mainly being offset by a rise in primary oil production as the new Clair Ridge field.
When other low-carbon generation methods including nuclear are added to the calculation, 54.4% of the UK’s generation in 2019 is accounted for. The majority of the remaining generation is attributable to natural gas (40.6%), while coal’s share fell to an all-time low of 2.1%, as several coal-free records were broken.
RenewableUK’s deputy chief executive Melanie Onn said the figures prove “confirm just how far we’ve come in the revolution in power generation”, given that renewable generation accounted for just 7% of the UK total a decade ago.
“At a time when so many things seem uncertain, the consistent rise of renewables, keeping the UK powered up, bringing billions in investment in new energy infrastructure and creating highly skilled jobs all over the country, is a terrific success story we can all be proud of,” Onn said.
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