Renewables provided 46% of UK’s power in the first half of this year, new figures reveal

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New figures released by the Government show a record rise in renewable energy generation in the first half of the year.

The new statistics published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, show renewables provided 45% of Great Britain’s electricity between April and June, up from 36% in Q2 2019, while coal produced a record low of 0.5%.

RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Melanie Onn commented on the data: “Today’s figures show that even under lockdown we’re continuing make progress on decarbonisation and set new records.

“This sector has worked hard through the pandemic to keep the lights on, and we’ve even been able to expand by creating over 2,000 jobs and attracting over £4 billion in new investment during lockdown.

“So the Prime Minister is right to highlight the importance of a green industrial revolution in his speech to the UN today.

“The renewable energy sector is a powerhouse for massive economic growth throughout this decade and beyond, as we take action on climate change to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

“When the Government published its long-awaited Energy White Paper, expected later this year, we need to see the right framework in place to secure this growth.

“That means raising the ambition for CfD auctions for new clean power and supporting the growth of innovative technologies like floating wind and renewable hydrogen.”

‘Energy Trends’ report covers statistics on energy production and consumption, in total and by fuel, and provides an analysis of the year on year changes.

 

The main points Energy Production and Consumption for the second quarter of 2020 are:

  • Total energy production was 1.5 per cent higher than in the second quarter of 2019.
  • Total primary energy consumption for energy uses fell by 24 per cent. However, when
    adjusted to take account of weather differences between the second quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2020, total primary energy consumption fell by 19 per cent. This record-low quarterly level of consumption was a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown from 23 March 2020, resulting in a significant fall in demand for the main transport and other fuels.
  • Final energy consumption (excluding non-energy use) was 30 per cent lower than in the second quarter of 2019. On a temperature adjusted basis, final energy consumption fell by 22 per cent. The quarter saw significant drops in all fuels and all sectors, notably transport which was down by over half compared to last year. Industrial and use in other sectors also fell, though domestic demand remained strong as people were encouraged to stay home.
  • Demand for the main transport fuels was at a record low level of 5.6 million tonnes in the second quarter of 2020, as the COVID-19 lockdown impacted domestic and international travel. Aviation fuel fell by 86 per cent, whilst petrol and diesel fell by 48 and 39 per cent respectively.
  • Of electricity generated in the second quarter of 2020, coal accounted for only 0.5 per cent, a record low, whilst gas accounted for 34.4 per cent. Nuclear generation accounted for 17.6 per cent of total electricity generated in the second quarter of 2020
  • Renewables share of electricity generation (wind, solar, hydro and bioenergy) increased from 35.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2019 to 44.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, partly due to increased capacity.
  • Renewable electricity generation was 30.1 TWh in the second quarter of 2020, an increase of 12 per cent on the 27.0 TWh in the second quarter of 2019.
  • Low carbon electricity’s share of electricity generation increased to 62.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, compared to 52.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2019.
  • Renewable electricity capacity was 48.5 GW at the end of the second quarter of 2020, a 5.4 per cent increase (2.4 GW) on a year earlier, with just under 80 per cent of the increase coming from offshore wind. Energy Prices covers prices to domestic and industrial consumers, prices of oil products and comparisons of international fuel prices.

The main points regarding Energy Prices for the second quarter of 2020 are:

  • Office of National Statistics price indices for Quarter 2 2020 show large decreases in the real terms price of gas (decreases of 18 per cent) for both domestic and industrial users, when compared with the same period in 2019.
    • The number of domestic customers switching suppliers decreased in the second quarter of 2020 compared to Q2 2019 (which saw the highest number of switches on record). The number of switches were 16 per cent lower for electricity and 8.3 per cent lower for gas (based on the latest Ofgem data).

More detailed information is available here