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The government has just released its latest quarterly energy statistics and the results are mixed.
Renewable energy has enjoyed a bountiful year, whereas coal power has also seen an increase in popularity.
Renewable energy capacity rose by 42.4 percent to a total of 14.2 GW, mostly due to a high number of large scale onshore and offshore wind farms that have been installed. Renewable energy now accounts for 9.6 percent of the UK’s energy mix, up from 9 percent last year.
The government believes that the figures would have been higher still, but for the lack of rainfall this year, and low winds which led to a 31 decrease in hydroelectricity generation and an 11 percent drop in output from onshore wind farms.
Offshore wind farms, however, provided 1.64 TWh, 47 percent more than the year before, Bioenergy production increased by 6.5 percent to a little more than 3TWh, and solar and wave energy grew more than 900 percent to 0.47TWh.
The new statistical report suggests that the UK is on track to set a plethora of new renewable energy records this year, despite criticism that the government’s uncertain policies are scaring renewable energy investors away.
And for the negative; the high natural gas prices in Europe this year mean that the UK has been looking to coal as a cheap source of energy; a move that will undoubtedly see carbon emissions grow. The Department for Energy and Climate Change revealed that natural gas provided 29.8 percent of the UK’s electricity in the second quarter of the year, its lowest amount in 14 years, whereas coal accounted for 36.1 percent, its highest amount in 14 years. A fall in nuclear’s share of the energy mix meant that coal power was actually the largest contributor of electricity.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com