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Wind sets record for generating UK electricity

Words: Huw Morris
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A record amount of the UK’s electricity was generated by wind in 2018, according to latest government figures.

The annual Digest of UK Energy Statistics, published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, shows that wind provided a record 17.1 per cent of the UK’s electricity last year, with 9.1 per cent from onshore wind and 8 per cent from offshore.

Overall, renewables generated a record 33 per cent. Low carbon generation including renewables and nuclear hit a record 52.6 per cent. Nuclear fell to 19.5 per cent, gas fell to 39.5 per cent and coal dropped to a record annual low of 5.1 per cent.

 In 2017, wind provided 14.8 per cent of the UK’s electricity, with 8.6 per cent from onshore wind and 6.2 per cent from offshore. Renewables overall generated 29.2 per cent.

“These record-breaking figures clearly show that investment in renewables and the government's championing of offshore wind is delivering rapid change to our energy system,” said RenewableUK’s deputy chief executive Emma Pinchbeck. “As well as helping keep prices down for consumers and boosting the competitiveness of our businesses, renewables are a huge economic opportunity, bringing employment and investment to all parts of the UK.

However, continued Pinchbeck, “to achieve its net zero ambitions, the new government needs to go further and faster - and the first steps should be removing the barriers to onshore wind which is our cheapest source of power, and building on our successes in innovative technologies like tidal energy and floating wind where the UK can be a world leader.”

Image credit | iStock