Thursday, 10 January 2013

UK renewable energy progress on target

The latest update of the UK Renewable Energy Road map indicates that the UK is currently on track to meeting the ambitious European target to source 15% of all energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The update shows significant progress on the rollout of renewable energy across the United Kingdom from July 2011 to July 2012, including:
  • A 27% increase in overall renewable electricity generated;
  • A 40% increase over the same period in renewable electricity capacity;
  • A 60% increase of offshore wind capacity to 2.5 gigawatts, and;
  • A five-fold increase in solar PV capacity.
Remarkably over 10% of all electricity generated in the UK is now coming from renewables.

Another recent publication from DECC shows the status renewable energy capacity (by type and MW capacity) currently operating, awaiting or under construction and at planning application stage.

Renewable Energy - overall progress to Jan 2013 (Source: DECC)
Interestingly this shows that dedicated biomass is the third largest largest category.  With over 3,000 MW either awaiting or under construction it seems that dedicated biomass is set to play a far more important role in the UK's renewable energy makeup.  Unsurprisingly on- and off-shore wind are the most dominant technologies (the source of this data can be found here).

We also found it interesting that fossil fuel dependency continues to reduce, and is currently at a record low.  However, net import dependency of fossil fuels continues to rise.
Source: DECC (

This appears to indicate that we are using less fossil fuel, most likely due to a combination of renewable energy, high prices and the economic downturn, what we are using is increasingly being imported from abroad.  The main form of imported energy is oil, closely followed by gas (or LNG, Liquified Natural Gas).

Source: DECC (
Finally, as the table below shows the primary demand for energy in the UK is mainly met via oil and gas.  Much of this will be used for electricity generation (in power stations) and space heating  and cooking (in homes).  

What is interesting is the relatively high ratio of indigenous supply of energy from bioenergy and waste compared to imports.  This is an important statistic which supports the general view that the UK can be self-sufficient in non-fossil fuel energy.  

However, the rapid increase in dedicated biomass plants highlighted by the first graph suggests that the UK will need to work hard to maintain the balance in favour of indigenous supply and to not rely increasingly on imported biomass.

Source: DECC (

No comments:

Post a Comment